Robust quantum communication using a polarization-entangled photon pair

Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Nov 26;93(22):220501. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.220501. Epub 2004 Nov 22.


Noise and imperfection of realistic devices are major obstacles for implementing quantum cryptography. In particular, birefringence in optical fibers leads to decoherence of qubits encoded in photon polarization. We show how to overcome this problem by doing single qubit quantum communication without a shared spatial reference frame and precise timing. Quantum information will be encoded in pairs of photons using tag operations, which corresponds to the time delay of one of the polarization modes. This method is robust against the phase instability of the interferometers despite the use of time bins. Moreover synchronized clocks are not required in the ideal no photon loss case as they are necessary only to label the different encoded qubits.