Quantum key distribution (QKD) research has yielded highly fruitful results and is currently undergoing an industrialization transformation. In QKD systems, electro-optic modulators are typically employed to prepare the required quantum states. While various QKD systems operating at GHz repetition frequency have demonstrated exceptional performance, they predominantly rely on instruments or printed circuit boards to fulfill the driving circuit function of the electro-optic modulator. Consequently, these systems tend to be complex with low integration levels. To address this challenge, we have introduced a modulator driver integrated circuit in 0.18 µm SiGe BiCMOS technology. The circuit can generate multiple-level driving signals with a clock frequency of 1.25 GHz and a rising edge of ∼50 ps. Each voltage amplitude can be independently adjusted, ensuring the precise preparation of quantum states. The measured signal-to-noise ratio was more than 17 dB, resulting in a low quantum bit error rate of 0.24% in our polarization-encoding system. This work will contribute to the advancement of QKD system integration and promote the industrialization process in this field.
A 1.25-GHz multi-amplitude modulator driver in 0.18 μm SiGe BiCOMOS technology for high speed quantum key distribution
Zhao-Yuan Chen, Chen-Xi Zhu, Zhi-Sheng Huang, Yang Li, Xin-Zhe Wang, Fu-Tian Liang, Ge Jin, Wen-Qi Cai, Sheng-Kai Liao, Cheng-Zhi Peng; A 1.25-GHz multi-amplitude modulator driver in 0.18 μm SiGe BiCOMOS technology for high speed quantum key distribution. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 1 October 2023; 94 (10): 104703. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0167218
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