Isaac Nape, Eileen Otte, Adam Vallés, Carmelo Rosales-Guzmán, Filippo Cardano, Cornelia Denz, and Andrew Forbes


“Using spatial modes for quantum key distribution (QKD) has become highly topical due to their infinite dimensionality, promising high information capacity per photon. However, spatial distortions reduce the feasible secret key rates and compromise the security of a quantum channel. In an extreme form such a distortion might be a physical obstacle, impeding line-of-sight for free-space channels. Here, by controlling the radial degree of freedom of a photon’s spatial mode, we are able to demonstrate hybrid high-dimensional QKD through obstacles with self-reconstructing single photons. We construct high-dimensional mutually unbiased bases using spin-orbit hybrid states that are radially modulated with a non-diffracting Bessel-Gaussian (BG) profile, and show secure transmission through partially obstructed quantum links. Using a prepare-measure protocol we report higher quantum state self-reconstruction and information retention for the non-diffracting BG modes as compared to Laguerre-Gaussian modes, obtaining a quantum bit error rate (QBER) that is up to 3× lower. This work highlights the importance of controlling the radial mode of single photons in quantum information processing and communication as well as the advantages of QKD with hybrid states.”

Link to Publications Page

Publication: Optics Express
Issue/Year: Optics Express Volume 26, Issue 21
DOI: 10.1364/OE.26.026946