High-dimensional quantum cryptography with twisted light

Mirhosseini, M., Magaña-Loaiza, O. S., O’Sullivan, M. N., Rodenburg, B., Malik, M., Lavery, M. P.J., Padgett, M. J. , Gauthier, D. J. and Boyd, R. W. (2015) High-dimensional quantum cryptography with twisted light. New Journal of Physics, 17(3), 033033. (doi:10.1088/1367-2630/17/3/033033)

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Abstract

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:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lavery, Dr Martin and Padgett, Professor Miles
Authors: Mirhosseini, M., Magaña-Loaiza, O. S., O’Sullivan, M. N., Rodenburg, B., Malik, M., Lavery, M. P.J., Padgett, M. J., Gauthier, D. J., and Boyd, R. W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:New Journal of Physics
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:1367-2630
ISSN (Online):1367-2630
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
First Published:First published in New Journal of Physics 17(3):033033
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
549871Challenges in Orbital Angular MomentumMiles PadgettEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/I012451/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
549872Challenges in Orbital Angular MomentumMiles PadgettEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/I012451/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY