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5 May 2010 Optical receiver for high-speed communication
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For through-the-air optical communication applications, we present a high speed detector module with high bandwidth and large active area. The detector has achieved a rise time of 220 pS with a full-width-half-max of 420 pS. Data rates are expected to approach 2 GHz. The active area of the input window is 12 mm, giving a large collection surface for through-the-air applications. The detector module includes an integrated power supply having low power consumption. In comparison with other detector technologies, this new detector exceeds the speed of conventional photomultiplier designs by 3 to 5 times. In comparison with microchannel plate detectors, the speed is comparable, but the throughput of the new detector is much higher - tens of microamperes of signal current can be obtained indefinitely. Optical communication applications can be served by two different designs. In the first case, the module utilizes gain based on ordinary secondary emission materials to achieve current gains of 1500. This design is suitable for applications at the limit of the detector's bandwidth where light power is relatively high. In another design, the secondary emission material was changed to diamond film which allows five times higher gain. While the current design uses an ordinary, blue sensitive input light conversion material, higher efficiency materials are in development for signals at longer wavelength.
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Paul A. Mitchell and Valerie J. Grib "Optical receiver for high-speed communication", Proc. SPIE 7666, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense IX, 76660Z (5 May 2010);

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