Most continuous-variable quantum key distribution schemes are based on the Gaussian modulation of coherent states followed by continuous quadrature detection using homodyne detectors. In all previous schemes, the Gaussian modulation has been carried out in conjugate quadratures thus requiring two independent modulators for their implementations. Here, we propose and experimentally test a largely simplified scheme in which the Gaussian modulation is performed in a single quadrature. The scheme is shown to be asymptotically secure against collective attacks, and considers a specific attack using asymmetric preparation and excess noise. We find that this protocol is considerably more sensitive to noise than other CVQKD schemes, as a consequence of the simplified implementation. A single-quadrature modulation approach renders the need for a costly amplitude modulator unnecessary, and thus facilitates commercialization of continuous-variable quantum key distribution, provided that the low noise requirement can be achieved.
Quantum Information and Computation, 2016, Vol 16, Issue 13-14, p. 1081-1095