Quantum Key Distribution

The principal advisor for this research direction was Jean-Marc Merolla, who is the leader of the QKD activity at FEMTO-ST. Quantum Information activities are modest insize at FEMTO-ST, but they are of world class level, as illustrated by the exceptionnal experimental, technological, and scientific achievements obtained, despite of of very limited size of the task force. Jean-Marc, and his PhD students I had the opportunity to modestly co-advise, are at the origine of the physics implementation of QKD used by the third worldwide start-up company in this field, SmartQuantum. Although the company stopped in 2010, their product was providing an impressive plug & play complete fiber network encryption system, for Gb/s triple DES encryption, with a QKD defined secret key (1024 bit length), refreshed every second!!! Live demo of the system was shown in Vienna 2009.

The AUREA Technology company was then created in September 2010, focussing their activity on the broader market of 1.5µm photon counting system. The company, located in Besançon, France, is now already among the worldwide leaders in this area.