A detailed comparative experimental study was carried out to pursue advanced performances corresponding to the key parameters of two photodetectors based on vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) operating in free-running or optically injection locked mode, as well as an inherent pin-photodetector. During the preliminary study, the key static and dynamic parameters were quantitatively determined and the optimal operating modes were derived for the both versions of VCSEL-based photodetectors as separate microwave-photonics circuit elements. Based on them, a final experiment was conducted to evaluate the processing quality, when one of the versions of VCSEL-based photodetectors or a inherent pin-photodetector is implemented as an optical-to-electrical converter for a typical microwave-photonics circuit that processes 120-Mbps 16-position quadrature amplitude modulated signal on the radio frequency carrier of 1–6 GHz. As a result, it was confirmed that better processing quality, i.e. Error Vector Magnitude value of less than 4%, could be obtained by using the free-running VCSEL-based photodetector version.
Part of the book: Light-Emitting Diodes and Photodetectors