Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

Document Type



The aim of this thesis is to understand the fundamental limitations on secret key distillation in various settings of quantum key distribution. We first consider quantum steering, which is a resource for one-sided device-independent quantum key distribution. We introduce a conditional mutual information based quantifier for quantum steering, which we call intrinsic steerability. Next, we consider quantum non-locality, which is a resource for device-independent quantum key distribution. In this context, we introduce a quantifier, intrinsic non-locality, which is a monotone in the resource theory of Bell non-locality. Both these quantities are inspired by intrinsic information and squashed entanglement and are based on conditional mutual information. The idea behind these quantifiers is to suppress the correlations that can be explained by a local hidden variable or by an inaccessible quantum system, thus quantifying the remaining intrinsic correlations. We then prove various properties of these two monotones, which includes the following: monotonicity under free operations, additivity under tensor product of objects, convexity, and faithfulness, among others.

Next, we prove that intrinsic steerability is an upper bound on the secret-key-agreement capacity of an assemblage, and intrinsic non-locality is an upper bound on the secret-key-agreement capacity of a quantum probability distribution. Thus we prove that these quantities are upper bounds on the achievable key rates in one-sided device-independent and device-independent quantum key distribution protocols. We also calculate these bounds for certain honest devices. The study of these upper bounds is instrumental in understanding the limitations of protocols that can be designed for various settings. These upper bounds inform us that, even if one considers the best possible protocol, there is no possibility of exceeding the upper bounds on key rates without a quantum repeater. The upper bounds introduced in this thesis are an important step for initiating this line of research in one-sided device-independent and in device-independent quantum key distribution.

Committee Chair

Wilde, Mark M.