New quantum communication infrastructure

Mohamed Bourenanne is part of the National Quantum Communication Infrastructure in Sweden (NQCIS) project, which received SEK 30 million from Vinnova and is coordinated by KTH. His research group works in the field of quantum communication and their laboratory is located at AlbaNova. - All eavesdropping attempts can be revealed thanks to the basic theories of quantum mechanics, thus increasing information security.

Professor Mohamed Bourenanne and PhD student Thomas Daugey
Professor Mohamed Bourenanne and PhD student Thomas Daugey. Photo: Gunilla Häggström

Photons are the smallest particles of light and are used in quantum encryption to create code keys between transmitter and receiver. Ones and zeros indicate the different directions in which light waves can oscillate, i.e. the polarisation of the photon.

If the photon is passed on, the laws of quantum mechanics say that the information in the photon has changed. This is detected when the sender and receiver compare the information.

- 'Any attempt at eavesdropping is detected and that is the strength of quantum encryption,' says Mohamed Bourennane. 'In our laboratory, we develop secure ways to transmit digital information.

The Photonic quantum information project received SEK 34.3 million over five years and was a collaboration between Fysikum at Stockholm University, KTH and the University of Seville.

In January 2023, the National Quantum Communication Infrastructure in Sweden (NQCIS) project received SEK 100 million over 2.5 years. KTH is coordinating the project and in addition to Fysikum at Stockholm University, Chalmers and Linköping University will also be involved. The aim is to develop quantum technology nationally and to promote co-operation between the research partners and companies. Sweden will join all EU Member States in building secure environments for digital information transfer.

- Our research laboratory is open to both academia and industry. It will also support education and training. We will build secure communication networks with encrypted information," says Mohamed Bourenanne.

Alice and Bob - quantum communication
Alice and Bob - quantum communication. Photo: Gunilla Häggström

The EAGLE 1 satellite will be launched by SES (Satellite telecommunications company) in 2024 and will communicate with the terrestrial quantum network on Earth.


Further information

Photonic quantum information project - Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

National Quantum Communication Infrastructure in Sweden Vinnova

SES Selects Arianespace to Launch EAGLE-1 Satellite for Europe's Quantum Cryptography