Optical Receiver Selection Guide

Overview

As the interface from a photonics experiment to electronic instruments, photodetection is critical to extracting and preserving experimental results. Newport's optical receivers and detectors make photodetection easy and provide the lowest noise and cleanest response possible. Our broad offering spans wavelength ranges from UV to short-wave IR for free-space and fiber-coupled configurations in many versions: high-speed, general-purpose, balanced, ultralow-light-level and large-area. There are many considerations in selecting an optical receiver or detector, and the features described here and listed in the tables below are intended to help with the process.


Plug & Play

Just flip a switch on Newport's optical receivers and detectors to see your results, even with our ultrahigh-speed devices. With built-in amplifiers, driver electronics, adjustable gain and filter settings, and LabVIEW™ compatibility, our optical receivers and detectors simplify the chores associated with the electronic portion of your photonics experiment. So as an optical engineer, you won't also have to become a microwave engineer to achieve the results you want.

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Receiver or Detector?

Both types of modules employ a photodiode to convert optical signals to electrical signals. The difference between a photoreceiver and photodetector is amplification. With photoreceivers, the photodiode is followed by a low-noise, linear, high-bandwidth amplifier. Characteristics of amplified photoreceivers include usability at low optical power levels (hundreds of nW), high dynamic range and isolation of the photodiode from external circuits. On the other hand, typical non-amplified photodetector features include usability at optical ranges of hundreds of mW, the ability to be battery-biased, simplified internal circuit design for less noise and, compared to a similar photoreceiver, lower cost.

Transimped_Amp-S

3-dB Bandwidth

An important property of optical receivers and detectors is the 3-dB bandwidth, which is defined by the frequency at which the output response drops to 50% of its value at DC or other low frequency reference. Newport's optical receiver and detector product series are grouped according to their 3-dB bandwidths.

FrequenRespTutorial-S

Conversion Gain

The sensitivity of an optical receiver or detector – i.e., how much output voltage will result from a given optical input power – is known as the conversion gain, measured in Volts/Watt. In an amplified photoreceiver, conversion gain is the product of the detector's responsivity, the amplifier's gain and the input impedance. In a non-amplified photodetector, the conversion gain is the product of the responsivity and load impedance. Gain can be either positive or negative, so an external inverting function may be used if desired.

Rise Time

The fastest transition that can be measured is called the rise time. In general, it is the 10% to 90% transition time (rise time) of the output response when the detector is illuminated by a negligibly short optical step function. Rise time is the parameter of choice when measuring either rising or falling edges. This type of measurement is especially common in digital communications systems where bit streams are comprised of an endless series of rising and falling edges. The rise time of a detector should be at least three times shorter than the rise time you expect to measure.

Broadest Selection

With a wide variety of standard, custom, and OEM versions, we have the broadest selection of plug-&-play photoreceivers and photodetectors available anywhere. Spanning the UV to IR with beam-positioning, balanced, ultralow-light-level, large-area, high-speed and general-purpose versions in free-space and fiber-coupled configurations, Newport is the place to find the right photoreceiver and photodetector for your needs.

Browse all Photoreceivers to review our standard models, or select a specific product series below to learn more about our products and capabilities. We also offer a complete line of Optical Power and Energy Meters.

Fiber-Optic Receivers

These amplified high-speed fiber-optic receivers offer bandwidths up to 38 GHz for receiving fiber-optic data while delivering the lowest noise and cleanest responses possible. The product series shown below are compatible with both single-mode and multi-mode fiber coupling.

Series Wavelength Ranges
(nm)
Peak Conversion Gain
(V/W)
Rise Time
(ps)
Detector Material
1484
22 GHz and 38 GHz Fiber-Optic Receivers
630-1620
630-865
800-865
-65
-70
12.5
16.5
GaAs
InGaAs
1544-2
12 GHz Fiber-Optic Receivers
500-1630
780-870
780-1630
-900
-800
-700
-450
32 GaAs
InGaAs
1611.cg
1 GHz AC Coupled Fiber-Optic Receivers
320-1000
900-1700
350
700
400 Si
InGaAs
1811-FC
125 MHz Fiber-Optic Receivers
320-1000
900-1700
4 x 104 3000 Si
InGaAs
2051
10 MHz Adjustable Fiber-Optic Receivers
300-1050
900-1700
9.2 x 106
18.4 x 106
8 x 104 Si
InGaAs
2001_FadedCable
200 kHz Fiber-Optic Receivers
300-1050
900-1700
9.4 x 106
18.8 x 106
2 x 106 Si
InGaAs

Free Space Optical Receivers

These amplified receivers offer bandwidths up to 10 GHz for detecting high-speed free space optical signals with the lowest noise and cleanest responses possible.

Series Wavelength Ranges
Peak Conversion Gain
(V/W)
Rise Time
(ps)
Detector Diameter
(mm)
Detector Material
17-349_8-03-3
1.2 to 10 GHz Biased AC Coupled Optical Receivers
300-1100
500-900
1000-1600
1000-1650
1475-2100
450-3250 35
400
500
0.032-0.4 Si
GaAs
InGaAs
1611_2
1 GHz AC Coupled Optical Receivers
320-1000
900-1700
350
700
400 0.1
0.4
Si
InGaAs
1801-FS
125 MHz Optical Receivers
320-1000
900-1700
4 x 104 3000 0.3
0.4
Si
InGaAs
2051
10 MHz Adjustable Optical Receivers
300-1050
900-1700
9.2 x 106
18.4 x 106
8 x 104 0.3
0.9
Si
InGaAs
2032lr6.cg2
200 kHz to 1 MHz Large Area Optical Receivers
190-1100
800-1750
1 x 106 5
5.8
Si
Ge
2001
200 kHz Optical Receivers/a>
300-1050
900-1700
9.4 x 106
18.8 x 106
2 x 106 0.3
0.9
Si
InGaAs
2034
Infrared Optical Receivers
800-2200 2.2 x 106 1 InGaAs
2151
750 Hz Femtowatt Photoreceivers
320-1050
800-1700
1 x 1011
2 x 1011
1 Si InGaAs

Balanced Photoreceivers

For applications that require detection of a weak or small signal from a noisy background, such as absorption spectroscopy or heterodyne detection, balanced photoreceivers are ideal. Consisting of two well-matched optical inputs, balanced photoreceivers amplify difference-mode signals and cancel common-mode signals, hence extracting the desired signal and removing noise. Newport's balanced photoreceivers series include models that are compatible with fiber-optic or free space optical signals.

Series Wavelength Ranges
Peak Conversion Gain
(V/W)
Rise Time
(ps)
Detector Diameter
(mm)
Detector Material
NF_1837
Nirvana™ Auto-Balanced Optical Receivers
400-1070
800-1700
900-1650
3 x 104
5.2 x 105
1 x 106
3000
3 x 106
FC/APC
1
2.5
Si
InGaAs
balanced_receiver
650 and 800 MHz Balanced Optical Receivers
320-1000
900-1700
350
700
800 FC
0.1
0.4
Si
InGaAs
1817_80MHz
80 MHz Balanced Optical Receivers
320-1000
900-1700
2 x 104
4 x 104
3000 FC
FC/UPC
0.1
0.4
Si
InGaAs
2107
10 MHz Adjustable Gain and Bandwidth Balanced Optical Receivers
300-1070
900-1700
9.2 x 106
18.4 x 106
8 x 104 FC
0.3
0.9
Si
InGaAs
2307
1 MHz Large-Area Adjustable-Gain Balanced Photoreceivers
800-1700 1.6 x 106 3.3 x 106 5 Ge

Fiber-Optic Detectors

These non-amplified detectors use special photodiodes with high speed electronic circuits to convert fast pulses in optical fibers to electrical signals for measurement.

Series Wavelength Ranges
(nm)
Peak Conversion Gain*
(V/W)
Rise Time
(ps)
Fiber Couping Type Detector Material
1004_FadedCable
45 GHz Fiber-Optic Detector
500-1630 10 9 Single-mode InGaAs
Photodetector-Model_1414
25 GHz Fiber-Optic Detectors
500-1630
850-1630
11
17
14 Single-mode
Multi-mode
InGaAs
17-349_8-03-4
Battery Biased Fiber-Optic Detectors
500-900
830-2150
1000-1650
0.45-0.95 A/W Responsivity 16-30 Single-mode GaAs
InGaAs
1024_photodetector
Time Domain Fiber-Optic Detectors
500-1630
850-1630
10
11
15
12
18.5
Single-mode
Multi-mode
InGaAs

Free Space Optical Detectors

These non-amplified detectors convert fast pulses of free space optical signals to electrical signals for measurement.

Series Wavelength Ranges
Peak Conversion Gain*
(V/W)
Rise Time
(ps)
Detector Diameter
(mm)
Detector Material
17-349_8-03-1
Biased Free Space Optical Detectors
200-1100
300-1100
350-1100
500-890
800-1800
830-2150
1000-1600
1000-1650
0.47-1.3 A/W Responsivity 3-300 0.02-4.57 Si
GaAs
InGaAs
1621nano
Nanosecond Free Space Optical Detectors
350-1000 28 1 0.8 Si
*Except where noted as Responsivity in A/W.

Accessories

Newport also offers accessories designed to help integrate our optical receivers and detectors into your photonics experiment.