Quantum process tomography of a high-dimensional quantum communication channel

Frederic Bouchard, Felix Hufnagel, Dominik Koutny, Aazad Abbas, Alicia Sit, Khabat Heshami, Robert Fickler, Ebrahim Karimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


The characterization of quantum processes, e.g. communication channels, is an essential ingredient for establishing quantum information systems. For quantum key distribution protocols, the amount of overall noise in the channel determines the rate at which secret bits are distributed between authorized partners. In particular, tomographic protocols allow for the full reconstruction, and thus characterization, of the channel. Here, we perform quantum process tomography of high-dimensional quantum communication channels with dimensions ranging from 2 to 5. We can thus explicitly demonstrate the effect of an eavesdropper performing an optimal cloning attack or an interceptresend attack during a quantum cryptographic protocol. Moreover, our study shows that quantum process tomography enables a more detailed understanding of the channel conditions compared to a coarse-grained measure, such as quantum bit error rates. This full characterization technique allows us to optimize the performance of quantum key distribution under asymmetric experimental conditions, which is particularly useful when considering high-dimensional encoding schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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