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Measurement of photon distribution in attenuated diode laser pulses

L.T. Xiao, R. Alléaume, Q. D. Xuan, F. Treussart, B. Journet , J.-F. Roch, Proc. of SPIE 4986 463-468 (2003)

Faint laser pulses are practical signal sources in quantum key distribution. The photon statistics has been measured by recording every photo-counts moment and leading directly to the Mandel parameter of the photon distribution. Two different types operation of a single mode laser diode have been considered: either direct pulsing of the driving current or CW emission followed by pulse-shaping using an acousto-optic modulator. In both cases, it has been found that for practical attenuations, the photon distribution in each light pulse follows a poissonian statistics.

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