Experimental quantum key distribution with source flaws

Feihu Xu, Kejin Wei, Shihan Sajeed, Sarah Kaiser, Shihai Sun, Zhiyuan Tang, Li Qian, Vadim Makarov, Hoi Kwong Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Decoy-state quantum key distribution (QKD) is a standard technique in current quantum cryptographic implementations. Unfortunately, existing experiments have two important drawbacks: the state preparation is assumed to be perfect without errors and the employed security proofs do not fully consider the finite-key effects for general attacks. These two drawbacks mean that existing experiments are not guaranteed to be proven to be secure in practice. Here, we perform an experiment that shows secure QKD with imperfect state preparations over long distances and achieves rigorous finite-key security bounds for decoy-state QKD against coherent attacks in the universally composable framework. We quantify the source flaws experimentally and demonstrate a QKD implementation that is tolerant to channel loss despite the source flaws. Our implementation considers more real-world problems than most previous experiments, and our theory can be applied to general discrete-variable QKD systems. These features constitute a step towards secure QKD with imperfect devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032305
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


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