Secure key generation using an ultra-long fiber laser: Transient analysis and experiment

Avi Zadok*, Jacob Scheuer, Jacob Sendowski, Amnon Yariv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The secure distribution of a secret key is the weakest point of shared-key encryption protocols. While quantum key distribution schemes could theoretically provide unconditional security, their practical implementation remains technologically challenging. Here we provide an extended analysis and present an experimental support of a concept for a classical key generation system, based on establishing laser oscillation between two parties, which is realized using standard fiber-optic components. In our Ultra-long Fiber Laser (UFL) system, each user places a randomly chosen, spectrally selective mirror at his/her end of a fiber laser, with the two-mirror choice representing a key bit. We demonstrate the ability of each user to extract the mirror choice of the other using a simple analysis of the UFL signal, while an adversary can only reconstruct a small fraction of the key. The simplicity of this system renders it a promising alternative for practical key distribution in the optical domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16680-16690
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number21
StatePublished - 13 Oct 2008


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