28 April 2009 Low phase noise high power handling InGaAs photodiodes for precise timing applications
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Time is the most precisely measured physical quantity. Such precision is achieved by optically probing hyperfine atomic transitions. These high Q-factor resonances demonstrate frequency instability of ~10-18 over 1 s observation time. Conversion of such a stable optical clock signal to an electrical clock through photodetection introduces additional phase noise, thereby resulting in a significant degradation in the frequency stability. This excess phase noise is primarily caused by the conversion of optical intensity noise into electrical phase noise by the phase non-linearity of the photodetector, characterized by its power-to-phase conversion factor. It is necessary to minimize this phase nonlinearity in order to develop the next generation of ultra-high precision electronic clocks. Reduction in excess phase noise must be achieved while ensuring a large output RF signal generated by the photodetector. The phase linearity in traditional system designs that employ a photoreceiver, namely a photodiode followed by a microwave amplifier, is limited by the phase non-linearity of the amplifier. Utilizing high-power handling photodiodes eliminates the need of microwave amplifiers. In this work, we present InGaAs p-i-n photodiodes that display a power-to-phase conversion factor <6 rad/W at a peak-to-peak RF output amplitude of 2 V. In comparison, the photodiode coupled to a transimpedance amplifier demonstrates >44 rad/W at a peak-to-peak RF output amplitude of 0.5 V. These results are supported by impulse response measurements at 1550 nm wavelength at 1 GHz repetition rate. These photodiodes are suitable of applications such as optical clock distribution networks, photonic analog-to-digital converters, and phased array radars.
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Shubhashish Datta, Shubhashish Datta, Abhay Joshi, Abhay Joshi, Don Becker, Don Becker, } "Low phase noise high power handling InGaAs photodiodes for precise timing applications", Proc. SPIE 7339, Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications V, 733905 (28 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818734; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.818734

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