Scientists develop detector that could improve the security of data transfer in quantum computing

A team of scientists from the University of Geneva, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art, and ID Quantique has developed a faster single-photon detector that could improve the security of data transfer. Quantum key distribution (QKD), which enables the transmission of shared secret keys via optical fibres, is a highly secure way of protecting against data theft, but its widespread use is limited by the speed of the single-photon detectors used to receive the information. The researchers’ detector, which integrates 14 nanowires, achieved a detection rate that was 20 times faster than a single-wire device, enabling the generation of a secret key at a rate of 64 megabits per second over 10 km of fibre optic cable. This is five times the performance of current technology over this distance and could have applications in fields such as banking, healthcare, government, and the military.