Alicia Sit

Alicia Sit is currently pursuing her master’s degree in physics at the University of Ottawa. In the summer of 2012, before beginning university, she was awarded the Faculty of Science’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship, which gave her the opportunity of starting her research career in a lab at the University of Ottawa. She thus worked in the mass spectrometry lab of Prof. Paul Mayer, where she studied the energetic and entropic behaviours of organic gas phase ions, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, found in the interstellar medium through their distinctive dissociation pathways. In 2015, she joined the Structured Quantum Optics group, though the co-op program, where she explores the uses of photonic orbital angular momentum for securely encrypting information with quantum cryptographic methods. She completed her honours thesis entitled “Secure Quantum Communication with Structured Photons in Fiber” under the supervision of Prof. Ebrahim Karimi in 2016, and obtained her honours B.Sc. with a specialization in Physics-Mathematics the following year. Currently, she is exploring the application of new high-dimensional quantum cryptographic protocols with structured light through different various quantum channels, including, fiber, underwater and free-space channels. In particular, she is building free-space quantum communication links across the city of Ottawa with the possibility to create a quantum network.


  1. Investigation of underwater quantum channels in a 30 meter flume tank using structured photons, F Hufnagel, A Sit, F Bouchard, Y Zhang, D England, K Heshami, B J Sussman & E Karimi, New Journal of Physics 22, 093074 (2020) (On news outlet: link1link2link3link4)
  2. Characterization of an underwater channel for quantum communications in the Ottawa River, F Hufnagel, A Sit, F Grenapin, F Bouchard, Kh Heshami, D England, Y Zhang, B J. Sussman, R W. Boyd, G Leuchs, and E Karimi, Optics Express 27, 26346 (2019).
  3. Quantum process tomography of a high-dimensional quantum communication channel, F Bouchard, F Hufnagel, DKoutný, A Abbas, A Sit, K Heshami, R Fickler & E Karimi, Quantum 3, 138 (2019).
  4. M Zanfrognini, E Rotunno, S Frabboni, A Sit, E Karimi, U Hohenester, V Grillo, Orbital Angular Momentum and Energy Loss Characterization of Plasmonic Excitations in Metallic Nanostructures in TEMACS Photonics 6, (2019).
  5. F Nejadsattari, Y Zhang, F Bouchard, H Larocque, A Sit, E Cohen, R Fickler & E Karimi, Experimental realization of wave-packet dynamics in cyclic quantum walksOptica 6, 174 (2019).
  6.  A Sit, R Fickler, F Alsaiari, F Bouchard, H Larocque, P Gregg, L Yan, R W Boyd, S Ramachandran & E Karimi, Quantum cryptography with structured photons through a vortex fiberOptics Letters 43, 4108 (2018).
  7. F. Bouchard, A. Sit, K. Heshami, E. Karimi, Round-Robin Differential-Phase-Shift Quantum Key Distribution with Twisted Photons, Physical Review A 96, 010301(R) (2018).
  8. M.T. Runyon, C.H. Nacke, A. Sit, M. Granados-Baez, L. Giner, J.S. Lundeen, Implementation of nearly arbitrary spatially-varying polarization transformations: a non-diffractive and non-interferometric approach using spatial light modulatorsApplied Optics 57, 5769 (2018).
  9. F. Bouchard, A. Sit, F. Hufnagel, A. Abbas, Y. Zhang, K. Heshami, R. Fickler, C. Marquardt, G. Leuchs, R.W. Boyd, E. Karimi, Quantum cryptography with twisted photons through an outdoor underwater channelOptics Express 26, 22563-22573 (2018).
  10. B. West, S.R. Castillo, A. Sit, S. Mohamad, B. Lowe, C. Joblin, A. Bodi, P. M. Mayer, Unimolecular reaction energies for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ionsPhys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 20, 7195-7205 (2018).
  11. Y. Zhang, A. Sit, F. Bouchard, H. Larocque, F Grenapin, E. Cohen, A.C. Elitzur, J.L. Harden, R.W. Boyd, E. Karimi, Interaction-Free Ghost-Imaging of Structured ObjectsOptics Express 27, 2212 (2019).
  12. A. Sit, F. Bouchard, R. Fickler, J. Gagnon-Bischoff, H. Larocque, K. Heshami, D. Elser, C. Peuntinger, K. Günthner, B. Heim, C. Marquardt, G. Leuchs, R. W. Boyd, E. Karimi, High-Dimensional Intra-City Quantum Cryptography with Structured Photons,  Optica 4, 1006 (2017)
  13. A. Sit, L. Giner, E. Karimi, and J. S. Lundeen, General lossless spatial polarization transformations, Journal of Optics 19, 094003 (2017).
  14. E. Mafakheri, A. H. Tavabi, P.-H. Lu, R. Balboni, F. Venturi, C. Menozzi, G. C. Gazzadi, S. Frabboni, A. Sit, R. E. Dunin-Borkowski, E. Karimi, V. Grillo, Realization of electron vortices with large orbital angular momentum using miniature holograms fabricated by electron beam lithographyApplied Physics Letters 110, 093113 (2017).
  15. H. Larocque, F. Bouchard, V. Grillo, A. Sit, S. Frabboni, R. E. Dunin-Borkowski, M. J. Padgett, R. W. Boyd, and E. Karimi, Nondestructive measurement of orbital angular momentum for an electron beamPhysical Review Letters 117, 154801 (2016).
  16. B. West, A. Sit, S. Mohamed, C. Joblin, V. Blanchet,  A. Bodi, P. M. Mayer, Dissociation of the Anthracene Radical Cation:  A Comparative Look at iPEPICO and Collision-Induced Dissociation Mass Spectrometry ResultsJ. Phys. Chem. A 118, 9870–9878 (2014).
  17. B. West,  A. Sit, A. Bodi, P. Hemberger and P. M. Mayer, Photodissociation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Fragments: An iPEPICO study of the TPES and Dissociation of Four Substituted Benzene Radical Cations, J. Phys. Chem. A 118, 11226–11234 (2014).