Performance analysis of free-space quantum key distribution using multiple spatial modes

Wenhua He, Saikat Guha, Jeffrey H. Shapiro, Boulat A. Bash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In the diffraction-limited near-field propagation regime, free-space optical quantum key distribution (QKD) systems can employ multiple spatial modes to improve their key rate. This improvement can be effected by means of high-dimensional QKD or by spatial-mode multiplexing of independent QKD channels, with the latter, in general, offering higher key rates. Here, we theoretically analyze spatial-mode-multiplexed, decoy-state BB84 whose transmitter mode set is either a collection of phase-tilted, flat-top focused beams (FBs) or the Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) modes. Although for vacuum propagation the FBs suffer a QKD rate penalty relative to the LG modes, their potential ease of implementation make them an attractive alternative. Moreover, in the presence of turbulence, the FB modes may outperform the LG modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19305-19318
Number of pages14
JournalOptics Express
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 21 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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