Nature Photonics (2019)
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a quantum communication technology that promises unconditional communication security. High-performance and cost-effective QKD systems are essential for the establishment of quantum communication networks1,2,3. By integrating all the optical components (except the laser source) on a silicon photonic chip, we have realized a stable, miniaturized and low-cost system for continuous-variable QKD (CV-QKD) that is compatible with the existing fibre optical communication infrastructure4. Here, the integrated silicon photonic chip is demonstrated for CV-QKD. It implements the widely studied Gaussian-modulated coherent state protocol that encodes continuous distributed information on the quadrature of laser light5,6. Our proof-of-principle chip-based CV-QKD system is capable of producing a secret key rate of 0.14 kbps (under collective attack) over a simulated distance of 100 km in fibre, offering new possibilities for low-cost, scalable and portable quantum networks.