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Stable, low-error, and calibration-free polarization encoder for free-space quantum communication

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Abstract

Polarization-encoded free-space quantum communication requires a quantum state source featuring fast modulation, long-term stability, and a low intrinsic error rate. Here we present a polarization encoder that, contrary to previous solutions, generates predetermined polarization states with a fixed reference frame in free-space. The proposed device does not require calibration either at the transmitter or at the receiver and achieves long-term stability. A proof-of-concept experiment is also reported, demonstrating a quantum bit error rate lower than 0.2% for several hours without any active recalibration.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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