The output of a light source is modulated by data, and we must use some form of photodetector to convert the light back into an electrical signal. As the light at the end of any optical link is usually of very low intensity, the detector has to meet a high-performance specification: the conversion efficiency must be high; the bandwidth must be high; the detection process should introduce the minimum amount of additional noise; and it must be possible to operate continuously over a wide range of temperatures for many years. A further obvious requirement for optical fibre links is that the detector size must be compatible with the fibre dimensions. This chapter examines PIN and APD structures for near and far infrared.
KeywordsPhotodiodes Responsivity Photon absorption Quantum efficiency PIN Punch-through voltage APD MSM Photodiode noise Excess noise factor
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