An improved quantum key distribution (QKD) system and method are provided. The system and method introduce new clients at intermediate points along a quantum channel, where any two clients can establish a secret key without the need for a secret meeting between the clients. The new clients perform operations on photons as they pass through nodes in the quantum channel, and participate in a non-secret protocol that is amended to include the new clients. The system and method significantly increase the number of clients that can be supported by a conventional QKD system, with only a modest increase in cost. The system and method are compatible with a variety of QKD schemes, including polarization, time-bin, continuous variable and entanglement QKD.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.