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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Sep 17;93(12):120501. Epub 2004 Sep 15.

Unconditional security of coherent-state quantum key distribution with a strong phase-reference pulse.

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  • 1CREST Research Team for Photonic Quantum Information, Division of Materials Physics, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, 1-3 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan.


We prove the unconditional security of a quantum key distribution protocol in which bit values are encoded in the phase of a weak coherent-state pulse relative to a strong reference pulse. In contrast with implementations in which a weak pulse is used as a substitute for a single-photon source, the achievable key rate is found to decrease only linearly with the transmission of the channel.

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