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Saturation characteristics of fast photodetectors

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4 Author(s)
Pao-Lo Liu ; Code 5672, Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; Williams, K.J. ; Frankel, M.Y. ; Esman, R.D.

Saturation of photodetectors is measured in the time domain using optical pulses of different duration and in the frequency domain using amplitude-modulated optical carriers. In the time domain, saturation is characterized by a reduction in peak photocurrent and growth of a pulse tail indicating that significant carrier velocity reduction is occurring as the opposing space-charge field persists. In the frequency domain, saturation is characterized by a reduction in response to a sinusoidal signal. The time-domain saturation measurements are shown to result in substantially larger 1-dB compression currents than frequency-domain measurements for the same photodiode. Transient space-charge calculations and a spectral analysis based on Gaussian pulses are shown to help to explain the apparent differences and to correlate the measured results from the time and frequency domains

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 7 )