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