Large-alphabet quantum key distribution using spatially encoded light

T.B.H. Tentrup, W.M. Luiten, R. van der Meer, P. Hooijschuur, P.W.H. Pinkse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
71 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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