Abstract

Optical fiber links and networks are integral components within and between cities’ communication infrastructures. Implementing quantum cryptographic protocols on either existing or new fiber links will provide information-theoretical security to fiber data transmissions. However, there is a need for ways to increase the channel bandwidth. Using the transverse spatial degree of freedom is one way to transmit more information and increase tolerable error thresholds by extending the common qubit protocols to high-dimensional quantum key distribution (QKD) schemes. Here we use one type of vortex fiber where the transverse spatial modes serves as an additional channel to encode quantum information by structuring the spin and orbital angular momentum of light. In this proof-of-principle experiment, we show that two-dimensional structured photons can be used in such vortex fibers in addition to the common two-dimensional polarization encryption, thereby paving the path to QKD multiplexing schemes.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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