Rate-loss analysis of an efficient quantum repeater architecture

Saikat Guha, Hari Krovi, Christopher A. Fuchs, Zachary Dutton, Joshua A. Slater, Christoph Simon, Wolfgang Tittel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


We analyze an entanglement-based quantum key distribution (QKD) architecture that uses a linear chain of quantum repeaters employing photon-pair sources, spectral-multiplexing, linear-optic Bell-state measurements, multimode quantum memories, and classical-only error correction. Assuming perfect sources, we find an exact expression for the secret-key rate, and an analytical description of how errors propagate through the repeater chain, as a function of various loss-and-noise parameters of the devices. We show via an explicit analytical calculation, which separately addresses the effects of the principle nonidealities, that this scheme achieves a secret-key rate that surpasses the Takeoka-Guha-Wilde bound - a recently found fundamental limit to the rate-vs-loss scaling achievable by any QKD protocol over a direct optical link - thereby providing one of the first rigorous proofs of the efficacy of a repeater protocol. We explicitly calculate the end-to-end shared noisy quantum state generated by the repeater chain, which could be useful for analyzing the performance of other non-QKD quantum protocols that require establishing long-distance entanglement. We evaluate that shared state's fidelity and the achievable entanglement-distillation rate, as a function of the number of repeater nodes, total range, and various loss-and-noise parameters of the system. We extend our theoretical analysis to encompass sources with nonzero two-pair-emission probability, using an efficient exact numerical evaluation of the quantum state propagation and measurements. We expect our results to spur formal rate-loss analysis of other repeater protocols and also to provide useful abstractions to seed analyses of quantum networks of complex topologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022357
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 31 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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