Quantum receiver for phase-shift keying at the single-photon level

Sidhu, Jasminder S. and Izumi, Shuro and Neergaard-Nielsen, Jonas S. and Lupo, Cosmo and Andersen, Ulrik L. (2021) Quantum receiver for phase-shift keying at the single-photon level. PRX Quantum, 2 (1). 010332. ISSN 2691-3399 (https://doi.org/10.1103/PRXQuantum.2.010332)

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Quantum enhanced receivers are endowed with resources to achieve higher sensitivities than conventional technologies. For application in optical communications, they provide improved discriminatory capabilities for multiple nonorthogonal quantum states. In this work, we propose and experimentally demonstrate a new decoding scheme for quadrature phase-shift encoded signals. Our receiver surpasses the standard quantum limit and outperforms all previously known nonadaptive detectors at low input powers. Unlike existing approaches, the receiver only exploits linear optical elements and on-off photodetection. This circumvents the requirement for challenging feed-forward operations that limit communication transmission rates and can be readily implemented with current technology.