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Proceedings Paper

High-speed free space optical communications based on quantum cascade lasers and type-II superlattice detectors
Author(s): Stephen M. Johnson; Emily Dial; M. Razeghi
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Paper Abstract

Free-space optical communications (FSOC) is a promising avenue for point-to-point, high-bandwidth, and high-security communication links. It has the potential to solve the “last mile” problem modern communication systems face, allowing for high-speed communication links without the expensive and expansive infrastructure required by fiber optic and wireless technologies 1 . Although commercial FSOC systems currently exist, due to their operation in the near infrared and short infrared ranges, they are necessarily limited by atmospheric absorption and scattering losses 2 . Mid-infrared (MWIR) wavelengths are desirable for free space communications systems because they have lower atmospheric scattering losses compared to near-infrared communication links. This leads to increased range and link uptimes. Since this portion of the EM spectrum is unlicensed, link establishment can be implemented quickly. Quantum cascade lasers (QCL) are ideal FSOC transmitters because their emission wavelength is adjustable to MWIR 3 . Compared to the typical VCSEL and laser diodes used in commercial NIR and SWIR FSOC systems, however, they require increased threshold and modulation currents 4 . Receivers based on type-II superlattice (T2SL) detectors are desired in FSOC for their low dark current, high temperature operation, and band gap tunable to MWIR 5 . In this paper, we demonstrate the implementation of a high-speed FSOC system using a QCL and a T2SL detector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 January 2020
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11288, Quantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XVII, 1128814 (31 January 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2548348
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen M. Johnson, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Emily Dial, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
M. Razeghi, Northwestern Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11288:
Quantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XVII
Manijeh Razeghi; Jay S. Lewis; Giti A. Khodaparast; Pedram Khalili, Editor(s)

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