A deterministic detector for vector vortex states uri icon


  • © 2017 The Author(s).Encoding information in high-dimensional degrees of freedom of photons has led to new avenues in various quantum protocols such as communication and information processing. Yet to fully benefit from the increase in dimension requires a deterministic detection system, e.g., to reduce dimension dependent photon loss in quantum key distribution. Recently, there has been a growing interest in using vector vortex modes, spatial modes of light with entangled degrees of freedom, as a basis for encoding information. However, there is at present no method to detect these non-separable states in a deterministic manner, negating the benefit of the larger state space. Here we present a method to deterministically detect single photon states in a four dimensional space spanned by vector vortex modes with entangled polarisation and orbital angular momentum degrees of freedom. We demonstrate our detection system with vector vortex modes from the | {\boldsymbol{\ell }} | = 1 and | {\boldsymbol{\ell }}| = 10 subspaces using classical and weak coherent states and find excellent detection fidelities for both pure and superposition vector states. This work opens the possibility to increase the dimensionality of the state-space used for encoding information while maintaining deterministic detection and will be invaluable for long distance classical and quantum communication.

Publication date

  • December 1, 2017