Free-space optical communication holds the promise of high-throughput wireless communication channels for long distances as well as for short-range indoor applications. To fully benefit from the high data rates enabled by optical carriers, the light needs to be efficiently collected onto a fast photodetector, which requires complex pointing and tracking systems. Here, we show that fluorescent materials can be used to increase the active area of a photodiode by orders of magnitude while maintaining its short response time and increasing its field of view. Using commercially available materials, we demonstrate a detector with an active area of 126 cm2 achieving data rates up to 2.1 Gbps at an eye-safe intensity. We demonstrate a detector geometry with omnidirectional sensitivity and discuss the need for new materials tailored for communication applications.
Thibault Peyronel, Kevin J. Quirk, Tony S. C. Wang, and Tobias G. Tiecke, "A luminescent detector for free-space optical communication (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10096, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX, 100960K (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 31, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2256190.5389862353001.
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