*Exp Astron (Dordr) ; 51(3): 1677-1694, 2021.*

##### RESUMO

Recently, the European Commission supported by many European countries has announced large investments towards the commercialization of quantum technology (QT) to address and mitigate some of the biggest challenges facing today's digital era - e.g. secure communication and computing power. For more than two decades the QT community has been working on the development of QTs, which promise landmark breakthroughs leading to commercialization in various areas. The ambitious goals of the QT community and expectations of EU authorities cannot be met solely by individual initiatives of single countries, and therefore, require a combined European effort of large and unprecedented dimensions comparable only to the Galileo or Copernicus programs. Strong international competition calls for a coordinated European effort towards the development of QT in and for space, including research and development of technology in the areas of communication and sensing. Here, we aim at summarizing the state of the art in the development of quantum technologies which have an impact in the field of space applications. Our goal is to outline a complete framework for the design, development, implementation, and exploitation of quantum technology in space.

*Phys Rev Lett ; 127(4): 040506, 2021 Jul 23.*

##### RESUMO

The phenomenon of entanglement marks one of the furthest departures from classical physics and is indispensable for quantum information processing. Despite its fundamental importance, the distribution of entanglement over long distances through photons is unfortunately hindered by unavoidable decoherence effects. Entanglement distillation is a means of restoring the quality of such diluted entanglement by concentrating it into a pair of qubits. Conventionally, this would be done by distributing multiple photon pairs and distilling the entanglement into a single pair. Here, we turn around this paradigm by utilizing pairs of single photons entangled in multiple degrees of freedom. Specifically, we make use of the polarization and the energy-time domain of photons, both of which are extensively field tested. We experimentally chart the domain of distillable states and achieve relative fidelity gains up to 13.8%. Compared to the two-copy scheme, the distillation rate of our single-copy scheme is several orders of magnitude higher, paving the way towards high-capacity and noise-resilient quantum networks.

*Sci Adv ; 6(36)2020 Sep.*

##### RESUMO

Quantum communication is rapidly gaining popularity due to its high security and technological maturity. However, most implementations are limited to just two communicating parties (users). Quantum communication networks aim to connect a multitude of users. Here, we present a fully connected quantum communication network on a city-wide scale without active switching or trusted nodes. We demonstrate simultaneous and secure connections between all 28 pairings of eight users. Our novel network topology is easily scalable to many users, allows traffic management features, and minimizes the infrastructure as well as the user hardware needed.

*Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 116(14): 6684-6688, 2019 04 02.*

##### RESUMO

Quantum entanglement is one of the most extraordinary effects in quantum physics, with many applications in the emerging field of quantum information science. In particular, it provides the foundation for quantum key distribution (QKD), which promises a conceptual leap in information security. Entanglement-based QKD holds great promise for future applications owing to the possibility of device-independent security and the potential of establishing global-scale quantum repeater networks. While other approaches to QKD have already reached the level of maturity required for operation in absence of typical laboratory infrastructure, comparable field demonstrations of entanglement-based QKD have not been performed so far. Here, we report on the successful distribution of polarization-entangled photon pairs between Malta and Sicily over 96 km of submarine optical telecommunications fiber. We observe around 257 photon pairs per second, with a polarization visibility above 90%. Our results show that QKD based on polarization entanglement is now indeed viable in long-distance fiber links. This field demonstration marks the longest-distance distribution of entanglement in a deployed telecommunications network and demonstrates an international submarine quantum communication channel. This opens up myriad possibilities for future experiments and technological applications using existing infrastructure.

*Phys Rev Lett ; 121(20): 200502, 2018 Nov 16.*

##### RESUMO

Sources of entanglement are an enabling resource in quantum technology, and pushing the limits of generation rate and quality of entanglement is a necessary prerequisite towards practical applications. Here, we present an ultrabright source of polarization-entangled photon pairs based on time-reversed Hong-Ou-Mandel interference. By superimposing four pair-creation possibilities on a polarization beam splitter, pairs of identical photons are separated into two spatial modes without the usual requirement for wavelength distinguishability or noncollinear emission angles. Our source yields high-fidelity polarization entanglement and high pair-generation rates without any requirement for active interferometric stabilization, which makes it an ideal candidate for a variety of applications, in particular those requiring indistinguishable photons.

*Nature ; 564(7735): 225-228, 2018 12.*

##### RESUMO

Quantum key distribution1 has reached the level of maturity required for deployment in real-world scenarios2-6. It has previously been shown to operate alongside classical communication in the same telecommunication fibre7-9 and over long distances in fibre10,11 and in free-space links12-15. Despite these advances, the practical applicability of quantum key distribution is curtailed by the fact that most implementations and protocols are limited to two communicating parties. Quantum networks scale the advantages of quantum key distribution protocols to more than two distant users. Here we present a fully connected quantum network architecture in which a single entangled photon source distributes quantum states to many users while minimizing the resources required for each. Further, it does so without sacrificing security or functionality relative to two-party communication schemes. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach using a single source of bipartite polarization entanglement, which is multiplexed into 12 wavelength channels. Six states are then distributed between four users in a fully connected graph using only one fibre and one polarization analysis module per user. Because no adaptations of the entanglement source are required to add users, the network can readily be scaled to a large number of users, without requiring trust in the provider of the source. Unlike previous attempts at multi-user networks, which have been based on active optical switches and therefore limited to some duty cycle, our implementation is fully passive and thus has the potential for unprecedented quantum communication speeds.

*Phys Rev Lett ; 121(8): 080403, 2018 Aug 24.*

##### RESUMO

In this Letter, we present a cosmic Bell experiment with polarization-entangled photons, in which measurement settings were determined based on real-time measurements of the wavelength of photons from high-redshift quasars, whose light was emitted billions of years ago; the experiment simultaneously ensures locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons and that the wavelength of the quasar photons had not been selectively altered or previewed between emission and detection, we observe statistically significant violation of Bell's inequality by 9.3 standard deviations, corresponding to an estimated p value of â²7.4×10^{-21}. This experiment pushes back to at least â¼7.8 Gyr ago the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have exploited the "freedom-of-choice" loophole to engineer the observed Bell violation, excluding any such mechanism from 96% of the space-time volume of the past light cone of our experiment, extending from the big bang to today.

*Sci Rep ; 8(1): 5076, 2018 Mar 22.*

##### RESUMO

Single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detectors, have a great importance in fields like quantum key distribution, laser ranging, florescence microscopy, etc. Afterpulsing is a non-ideal behavior of SPADs that adversely affects any application that measures the number or timing of detection events. Several studies based on a few individual detectors, derived distinct mathematical models from semiconductor physics perspectives. With a consistent testing procedure and statistically large data sets, we show that different individual detectors - even if identical in type, make, brand, etc. - behave according to fundamentally different mathematical models. Thus, every detector must be characterized individually and it is wrong to draw universal conclusions about the physical meaning behind these models. We also report the presence of high-order afterpulses that are not accounted for in any of the standard models.

*Phys Rev Lett ; 120(3): 030501, 2018 Jan 19.*

##### RESUMO

We perform decoy-state quantum key distribution between a low-Earth-orbit satellite and multiple ground stations located in Xinglong, Nanshan, and Graz, which establish satellite-to-ground secure keys with â¼kHz rate per passage of the satellite Micius over a ground station. The satellite thus establishes a secure key between itself and, say, Xinglong, and another key between itself and, say, Graz. Then, upon request from the ground command, Micius acts as a trusted relay. It performs bitwise exclusive or operations between the two keys and relays the result to one of the ground stations. That way, a secret key is created between China and Europe at locations separated by 7600 km on Earth. These keys are then used for intercontinental quantum-secured communication. This was, on the one hand, the transmission of images in a one-time pad configuration from China to Austria as well as from Austria to China. Also, a video conference was performed between the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which also included a 280 km optical ground connection between Xinglong and Beijing. Our work clearly confirms the Micius satellite as a robust platform for quantum key distribution with different ground stations on Earth, and points towards an efficient solution for an ultralong-distance global quantum network.

*Nat Commun ; 8: 15971, 2017 07 24.*

##### RESUMO

Quantum entanglement is a fundamental resource in quantum information processing and its distribution between distant parties is a key challenge in quantum communications. Increasing the dimensionality of entanglement has been shown to improve robustness and channel capacities in secure quantum communications. Here we report on the distribution of genuine high-dimensional entanglement via a 1.2-km-long free-space link across Vienna. We exploit hyperentanglement, that is, simultaneous entanglement in polarization and energy-time bases, to encode quantum information, and observe high-visibility interference for successive correlation measurements in each degree of freedom. These visibilities impose lower bounds on entanglement in each subspace individually and certify four-dimensional entanglement for the hyperentangled system. The high-fidelity transmission of high-dimensional entanglement under real-world atmospheric link conditions represents an important step towards long-distance quantum communications with more complex quantum systems and the implementation of advanced quantum experiments with satellite links.

*Nat Commun ; 8: 15304, 2017 05 10.*

##### RESUMO

The unification of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics is a long-standing challenge in contemporary physics. Experimental techniques in quantum optics have only recently reached the maturity required for the investigation of quantum systems under the influence of non-inertial motion, such as being held at rest in gravitational fields, or subjected to uniform accelerations. Here, we report on experiments in which a genuine quantum state of an entangled photon pair is exposed to a series of different accelerations. We measure an entanglement witness for g-values ranging from 30 mg to up to 30 g-under free-fall as well on a spinning centrifuge-and have thus derived an upper bound on the effects of uniform acceleration on photonic entanglement.

*Phys Rev Lett ; 118(6): 060401, 2017 Feb 10.*

##### RESUMO

Bell's theorem states that some predictions of quantum mechanics cannot be reproduced by a local-realist theory. That conflict is expressed by Bell's inequality, which is usually derived under the assumption that there are no statistical correlations between the choices of measurement settings and anything else that can causally affect the measurement outcomes. In previous experiments, this "freedom of choice" was addressed by ensuring that selection of measurement settings via conventional "quantum random number generators" was spacelike separated from the entangled particle creation. This, however, left open the possibility that an unknown cause affected both the setting choices and measurement outcomes as recently as mere microseconds before each experimental trial. Here we report on a new experimental test of Bell's inequality that, for the first time, uses distant astronomical sources as "cosmic setting generators." In our tests with polarization-entangled photons, measurement settings were chosen using real-time observations of Milky Way stars while simultaneously ensuring locality. Assuming fair sampling for all detected photons, and that each stellar photon's color was set at emission, we observe statistically significant â³7.31σ and â³11.93σ violations of Bell's inequality with estimated p values of â²1.8×10^{-13} and â²4.0×10^{-33}, respectively, thereby pushing back by â¼600 years the most recent time by which any local-realist influences could have engineered the observed Bell violation.

*Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(48): 13648-13653, 2016 11 29.*

##### RESUMO

Spatial modes of light can potentially carry a vast amount of information, making them promising candidates for both classical and quantum communication. However, the distribution of such modes over large distances remains difficult. Intermodal coupling complicates their use with common fibers, whereas free-space transmission is thought to be strongly influenced by atmospheric turbulence. Here, we show the transmission of orbital angular momentum modes of light over a distance of 143 km between two Canary Islands, which is 50× greater than the maximum distance achieved previously. As a demonstration of the transmission quality, we use superpositions of these modes to encode a short message. At the receiver, an artificial neural network is used for distinguishing between the different twisted light superpositions. The algorithm is able to identify different mode superpositions with an accuracy of more than 80% up to the third mode order and decode the transmitted message with an error rate of 8.33%. Using our data, we estimate that the distribution of orbital angular momentum entanglement over more than 100 km of free space is feasible. Moreover, the quality of our free-space link can be further improved by the use of state-of-the-art adaptive optics systems.

*Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 112(46): 14202-5, 2015 Nov 17.*

##### RESUMO

As a direct consequence of the no-cloning theorem, the deterministic amplification as in classical communication is impossible for unknown quantum states. This calls for more advanced techniques in a future global quantum network, e.g., for cloud quantum computing. A unique solution is the teleportation of an entangled state, i.e., entanglement swapping, representing the central resource to relay entanglement between distant nodes. Together with entanglement purification and a quantum memory it constitutes a so-called quantum repeater. Since the aforementioned building blocks have been individually demonstrated in laboratory setups only, the applicability of the required technology in real-world scenarios remained to be proven. Here we present a free-space entanglement-swapping experiment between the Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife, verifying the presence of quantum entanglement between two previously independent photons separated by 143 km. We obtained an expectation value for the entanglement-witness operator, more than 6 SDs beyond the classical limit. By consecutive generation of the two required photon pairs and space-like separation of the relevant measurement events, we also showed the feasibility of the swapping protocol in a long-distance scenario, where the independence of the nodes is highly demanded. Because our results already allow for efficient implementation of entanglement purification, we anticipate our research to lay the ground for a fully fledged quantum repeater over a realistic high-loss and even turbulent quantum channel.

*Sci Rep ; 5: 10214, 2015 Jun 09.*

##### RESUMO

Random numbers are essential for our modern information based society e.g. in cryptography. Unlike frequently used pseudo-random generators, physical random number generators do not depend on complex algorithms but rather on a physical process to provide true randomness. Quantum random number generators (QRNG) do rely on a process, which can be described by a probabilistic theory only, even in principle. Here we present a conceptually simple implementation, which offers a 100% efficiency of producing a random bit upon a request and simultaneously exhibits an ultra low latency. A careful technical and statistical analysis demonstrates its robustness against imperfections of the actual implemented technology and enables to quickly estimate randomness of very long sequences. Generated random numbers pass standard statistical tests without any post-processing. The setup described, as well as the theory presented here, demonstrate the maturity and overall understanding of the technology.

*Phys Rev Lett ; 115(25): 250401, 2015 Dec 18.*

##### RESUMO

Local realism is the worldview in which physical properties of objects exist independently of measurement and where physical influences cannot travel faster than the speed of light. Bell's theorem states that this worldview is incompatible with the predictions of quantum mechanics, as is expressed in Bell's inequalities. Previous experiments convincingly supported the quantum predictions. Yet, every experiment requires assumptions that provide loopholes for a local realist explanation. Here, we report a Bell test that closes the most significant of these loopholes simultaneously. Using a well-optimized source of entangled photons, rapid setting generation, and highly efficient superconducting detectors, we observe a violation of a Bell inequality with high statistical significance. The purely statistical probability of our results to occur under local realism does not exceed 3.74×10^{-31}, corresponding to an 11.5 standard deviation effect.

*Opt Express ; 21(6): 6707-17, 2013 Mar 25.*

##### RESUMO

Single photons are an important prerequisite for a broad spectrum of quantum optical applications. We experimentally demonstrate a heralded single-photon source based on spontaneous parametric down-conversion in collinear bulk optics, and fiber-coupled bolometric transition-edge sensors. Without correcting for background, losses, or detection inefficiencies, we measure an overall heralding efficiency of 83%. By violating a Bell inequality, we confirm the single-photon character and high-quality entanglement of our heralded single photons which, in combination with the high heralding efficiency, are a necessary ingredient for advanced quantum communication protocols such as one-sided device-independent quantum key distribution.

##### Assuntos

Tecnologia de Fibra Óptica/instrumentação , Fótons , Refratometria/instrumentação , Ressonância de Plasmônio de Superfície/instrumentação , Transdutores , Desenho de Equipamento , Análise de Falha de Equipamento*Nature ; 497(7448): 227-30, 2013 May 09.*

##### RESUMO

The violation of a Bell inequality is an experimental observation that forces the abandonment of a local realistic viewpoint--namely, one in which physical properties are (probabilistically) defined before and independently of measurement, and in which no physical influence can propagate faster than the speed of light. All such experimental violations require additional assumptions depending on their specific construction, making them vulnerable to so-called loopholes. Here we use entangled photons to violate a Bell inequality while closing the fair-sampling loophole, that is, without assuming that the sample of measured photons accurately represents the entire ensemble. To do this, we use the Eberhard form of Bell's inequality, which is not vulnerable to the fair-sampling assumption and which allows a lower collection efficiency than other forms. Technical improvements of the photon source and high-efficiency transition-edge sensors were crucial for achieving a sufficiently high collection efficiency. Our experiment makes the photon the first physical system for which each of the main loopholes has been closed, albeit in different experiments.

*Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 110(4): 1221-6, 2013 Jan 22.*

##### RESUMO

The counterintuitive features of quantum physics challenge many common-sense assumptions. In an interferometric quantum eraser experiment, one can actively choose whether or not to erase which-path information (a particle feature) of one quantum system and thus observe its wave feature via interference or not by performing a suitable measurement on a distant quantum system entangled with it. In all experiments performed to date, this choice took place either in the past or, in some delayed-choice arrangements, in the future of the interference. Thus, in principle, physical communications between choice and interference were not excluded. Here, we report a quantum eraser experiment in which, by enforcing Einstein locality, no such communication is possible. This is achieved by independent active choices, which are space-like separated from the interference. Our setup employs hybrid path-polarization entangled photon pairs, which are distributed over an optical fiber link of 55 m in one experiment, or over a free-space link of 144 km in another. No naive realistic picture is compatible with our results because whether a quantum could be seen as showing particle- or wave-like behavior would depend on a causally disconnected choice. It is therefore suggestive to abandon such pictures altogether.