Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 35, Number 2, August 2006
|Page(s)||117 - 121|
|Section||Laser and Optics|
|Published online||12 July 2006|
Intensity noise measurement of strongly attenuated laser diode pulses in the time domain*
Laboratoire SATIE, École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, CNRS UMR 8029, 61 avenue du Président Wilson,
94235 Cachan Cedex, France
2 Laboratoire Traitement et Communication de l'Information, École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, CNRS UMR 5141, 46 rue Barrault, 75634 Paris Cedex 13, France
3 Laboratoire de Photonique Quantique et Moléculaire, École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, CNRS UMR 8537, 61 avenue du Président Wilson, 94235 Cachan Cedex, France
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 6 January 2006
Accepted: 13 March 2006
Published online: 12 July 2006
Developing the ability to characterize photon statistics of light sources has been one of the important driving forces of Quantum Optics. Photon statistics is also a crucial parameter to evaluate of quantum key distribution security. As practical quantum cryptographic systems encode information on faint laser pulses, we present a simple method to measure and calibrate their intensity noise with respect to shotnoise reference. The technique is based on the record of photodetection timetags in the photon counting regime. Two different methods are considered to produce light pulse: first, direct pulsing of a laser diode driving current, second, chopping the CW laser beam emitted by a laser diode with an acousto-optical modulator. As predicted by basic Quantum Optics theory, levels of attenuation used in practical quantum key distribution systems lead in both cases to Poissonian photon number distribution in the generated light pulses.
PACS: 42.50.Ar – Photon statistics and coherence theory / 42.55.Px – Semiconductor lasers; laser diodes / 03.67.Dd – Quantum cryptography
© EDP Sciences, 2006
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