Secure and private communication over large distances is one of the most important prerequisites for further digitalization in industry, banking, public infrastructure and government institutions. Ever increasing volumes of sensitive data make it absolutely necessary to have reliable and protected channels for information exchange.
Quantum communication will be an important step in this direction. By means of the secure exchange of a key of any length between transmitter and receiver, it enables the transmission of information that cannot be cracked without breaking the laws of physics. The technology can help secure data exchange between partners when there are high requirements for data protection or confidentiality.
The MoNeQua project was set up to establish an application center in Saxony for “the design of scalable electronic systems for quantum communication.” The purpose of this institution is to provide quantum communication systems as a flexible experimentation and testing environment for nanoelectronic circuit development. It is planned to incrementally expand the distances for signal transmission – starting from the local and urban environment in the German state of Saxony and growing over time to encompass the neighboring states of Bavaria and Thuringia.
The solution explained
Ongoing efforts to develop systems for quantum communication are focused primarily on optical components. Equally, exploiting the potential of state-of-the-art nanoelectronic technologies offers the opportunity to increase the performance of systems while also miniaturizing them and creating more flexible designs. Systems for quantum key distribution are heterogeneous in design and consist of optical components, optoelectronic transformers and electronic assemblies. With our quantum communication research, we contribute in particular to development of the nanoelectronic components required. The focus lies on maximum performance, modular and universal use, and miniaturization of the systems.
Our work also builds on results from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s “QuNET” research initiative at the federal level, which wants to build up a pilot network for quantum communication in Germany.