Large-alphabet quantum key distribution using spatially encoded light

Tristan Bernhard Horst Tentrup, W.M. Luiten, Reinier van der Meer, Peter Hooijschuur, Pepijn W.H. Pinkse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Most quantum key distribution protocols using a two-dimensional basis, such as HV polarization as first proposed by Bennett and Brassard in 1984, are limited to a key generation density of 1 bit per photon. We increase this key density by encoding information in the transverse spatial displacement of the used photons. Employing this higher-dimensional Hilbert space together with modern single- photon-detecting cameras, we demonstrate a proof-of-principle large-alphabet quantum key distribution experiment with 1024 symbols and a shared information between sender and receiver of 7 bit per photon.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123044
Number of pages8
JournalNew journal of physics
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2019


  • quantum key distribution
  • spatial light encoding
  • high-dimensional quantum optics
  • single-photon detection
  • Cybersecurity

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