Abstract

We experimentally demonstrate spatial multiplexing of an orbital angular momentum (OAM)-encoded quantum channel and a classical Gaussian beam with a different wavelength and orthogonal polarization. Data rates as large as 100 MHz are achieved by encoding on two different OAM states by employing a combination of independently modulated laser diodes and helical phase holograms. The influence of OAM mode spacing, encoding bandwidth, and interference from the co-propagating Gaussian beam on registered photon count rates and quantum bit error rates is investigated. Our results show that the deleterious effects of intermodal crosstalk effects on system performance become less important for OAM mode spacing Δ2 (corresponding to a crosstalk value of less than 18.5  dB). The use of OAM domain can additionally offer at least 10.4 dB isolation besides that provided by wavelength and polarization, leading to a further suppression of interference from the classical channel.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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