Skip to main content
Argonne National Laboratory

Quantum network architecture design

Designing scalable, long-distance, quantum network architecture through photon-level simulations

Recent advances in quantum information sciences, quantum engineering, and materials science allow proof-of-concept demonstrations of quantum communication. Quantum networks promise to deliver new groundbreaking applications, such as clock synchronization with unprecedented accuracy, reduced communication complexity in distributed systems, and improved security for information storage and transfer. Computer scientists and network engineers at Argonne work in close collaboration with experimentalists to design a quantum network architecture that will meet the goals of these disparate applications. Quantum network simulations have emerged as a powerful tool to study the behavior of quantum networks.

The Argonne-developed simulator of quantum network communication, called SeQUeNCe, is a tool that performs network simulations at the individual photon level with picosecond resolution. The simulator integrates accurate models of optical components, including light sources, interferometers, detectors, beam splitters, and telecommunication fiber, allowing studies of their complex interactions. Object-oriented design of the tool allows accurate simulation of the complete control protocol stack. The initial implementation of SeQUeNCe allows both polarization and time bin encoding of quantum information. We implemented the BB84, Cascade, and quantum teleportation protocols and successfully compared our simulation results against experimental realizations of quantum key distribution and teleportation in metropolitan networks.

Argonne also leads and participates in several collaborative projects that build experimental quantum communication networks in the Chicago area.


Xiaoliang Wu, Joaquin Chung, Alexander Kolar, Eugene Wang, Tian Zhong, Rajkumar Kettimuthu and Martin Suchara, Simulations of photonic quantum networks for performance analysis and experiment design,” PHOTONICS Workshop, collocated with SC19, November 17 -22, 2019.

Xiaoliang Wu, Joaquin Chung, Alexander Kolar, Eugene Wang, Tian Zhong, Rajkumar Kettimuthu and Martin Suchara, Photon-level simulation of quantum key distribution with picosecond accuracy, Abstract presented at the 2019 Single Photon Workshop, October 21 -25, 2019.