Bingzhi Zhang, Quntao Zhuang

Quantum networks (QNs) will play a key role in distributed quantum information processing. As the network size increases, network-level errors like random breakdown and intentional attack are inevitable; therefore, it is important to understand the robustness of large-scale QNs, similar to what has been done for the classical counterpart—the internet. For exponential networks such as Waxman networks, errors simply re-parameterize the network and lead to a linear decrease of the quantum capacity with the probability of error. The same linear decay happens for scale-free QNs under random breakdowns, despite the previously discovered robustness in terms of the connectivity. In presence of attack, however, the capacity of scale-free QNs shows a sharp exponential decay with the increasing attack fraction. Our results apply to quantum internet based on fibers for all kinds of quantum communications and provide implications for the future construction of QNs with regard to its robustness.