National Research Council of Canada. Security and Disruptive Technologies
Quantum key distribution is on the verge of real world applications, where perfectly secure information can be distributed among multiple parties. Several quantum cryptographic protocols have been theoretically proposed and independently realized in different experimental conditions. Here, we develop an experimental platform based on high-dimensional orbital angular momentum states of single photons that enables implementation of multiple quantum key distribution protocols with a single experimental apparatus. Our versatile approach allows us to experimentally survey different classes of quantum key distribution techniques, such as the 1984 Bennett & Brassard (BB84), tomographic protocols including the six-state and the Singapore protocol, and a recently introduced differential phase shift (Chau15) protocol. This enables us to experimentally compare the performance of these techniques and discuss their benefits and deficiencies in terms of noise tolerance in different dimensions. Our analysis gives an overview of the available quantum key distribution protocols for photonic orbital angular momentum and highlights the benefits of the presented schemes for different implementations and channel conditions.