Quantum channels enable the implementation of communication tasks inaccessible to their classical counterparts. The most famous example is the distribution of secret key. However, in the absence of quantum repeaters, the rate at which these tasks can be performed is dictated by the losses in the quantum channel. In practice, channel losses have limited the reach of quantum protocols to short distances. Quantum repeaters have the potential to significantly increase the rates and reach beyond the limits of direct transmission. However, no experimental implementation has overcome the direct transmission threshold. Here, we propose three quantum repeater schemes and assess their ability to generate secret key when implemented on a setup using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond with near-term experimental parameters. We find that one of these schemes - the so-called single-photon scheme, requiring no quantum storage - has the ability to surpass the capacity - the highest secret-key rate achievable with direct transmission - by a factor of 7 for a distance of approximately 9.2 km with near-term parameters, establishing it as a prime candidate for the first experimental realization of a quantum repeater.
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Rozpedek, F. (Creator), Yehia, R. (Creator), Goodenough, K. D. (Creator), Ruf, M. T. (Creator), Humphreys, P. (Creator), Hanson, R. (Creator), Wehner, S. D. C. (Creator) & Elkouss Coronas, D. (Creator), TU Delft - 4TU.ResearchData, 2020