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High-dimensional quantum cryptography with twisted light

Mirhosseini, Mohammad and Magaña-Loaiza, Omar S. and O’Sullivan, Malcolm N. and Rodenburg, Brandon and Malik, Mehul and Lavery, Martin P. J. and Padgett, Miles J. and Gauthier, Daniel J. and Boyd, Robert W. (2015) High-dimensional quantum cryptography with twisted light. New Journal of Physics, 17 (3). Art. No. 033033. ISSN 1367-2630.

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Quantum key distribution (QKD) systems often rely on polarization of light for encoding, thus limiting the amount of information that can be sent per photon and placing tight bounds on the error rates that such a system can tolerate. Here we describe a proof-of-principle experiment that indicates the feasibility of high-dimensional QKD based on the transverse structure of the light field allowing for the transfer of more than 1 bit per photon. Our implementation uses the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of photons and the corresponding mutually unbiased basis of angular position (ANG). Our experiment uses a digital micro-mirror device for the rapid generation of OAM and ANG modes at 4 kHz, and a mode sorter capable of sorting single photons based on their OAM and ANG content with a separation efficiency of 93%. Through the use of a seven-dimensional alphabet encoded in the OAM and ANG bases, we achieve a channel capacity of 2.05 bits per sifted photon. Our experiment demonstrates that, in addition to having an increased information capacity, multilevel QKD systems based on spatial-mode encoding can be more resilient against intercept-resend eavesdropping attacks.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Rodenburg, Brandon0000-0003-2150-0576
Boyd, Robert W.0000-0002-1234-2265
Additional Information:© 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 5 October 2014. Accepted 16 February 2015. Published 20 March 2015. We acknowledge helpful discussion with Glenn A Tyler of the Optical Sciences Company. This work was financially supported by DARPA/DSO InPho program, the US Air Force under contract FA9453-14-M-0317, the UK EPSRC under Programme Grant COAM, and the Canadian Excellence Research Chair (CERC) program. OSML acknowledges support from CONACyT. Mehul Malik acknowledges support from European Commission through a Marie Curie Fellowship.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9453-14-M-0317
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)COAM
Canada Research Chairs ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)UNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:quantum key distribution, orbital angular momentum, singular optics
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190628-110704546
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Official Citation:Mohammad Mirhosseini et al 2015 New J. Phys. 17 033033
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96837
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Jul 2019 14:38
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:25

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