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14 September 2010 Large-area InGaAs quad photoreceiver for Laser Interferometry Space Antenna
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Abstract
Quad photoreceivers, namely a 2 × 2 array of p-i-n photodiodes followed by a transimpedance amplifier (TIA) per diode, are required as the front-end photonic sensors in several applications relying on free-space propagation with position and direction sensing capability, such as long baseline interferometry, free-space optical communication, missile guidance, and biomedical imaging. It is desirable to increase the active area of quad photoreceivers (and photodiodes) to enhance the link gain, and therefore sensitivity, of the system. However, the resulting increase in the photodiode capacitance reduces the photoreceiver's bandwidth and adds to the excess system noise. As a result, the noise performance of the front-end quad photoreceiver has a direct impact on the sensitivity of the overall system. One such particularly challenging application is the Laser Interferometry Space Antenna (LISA), which proposes to detect gravity waves in space by measuring distance at 1064 nm wavelength with ~10 pm/√Hz accuracy over a baseline of 5,000,000 kilometers. Currently, LISA's sensitivity is restricted by the noise arising from ~20 pF capacitance per quadrant demonstrated by typical 1 mm diameter InGaAs quad photodiodes. We present a 1 mm diameter quad photoreceiver having an equivalent input current noise density of <3.2 pA/√Hz per quadrant up to a 3 dB bandwidth of ~20 MHz. This performance is primarily enabled by a rad-hard-by-design dualdepletion region InGaAs quad photodiode having 2.5 pF capacitance per quadrant, which allows ~17dB improvement in sensitivity over the state-of-the-art. Moreover, the quad photoreceiver demonstrates a crosstalk of <-52 dB between the neighboring quadrants, which ensures a direction sensing resolution of <30 nrad in LISA.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Shubhashish Datta, Abhay Joshi, and Jim Rue "Large-area InGaAs quad photoreceiver for Laser Interferometry Space Antenna", Proc. SPIE 7817, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments IV, 78170F (14 September 2010); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.861400
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