• Technical Conference:  30 March – 03 April 2025
  • Exhibition: 01 – 03 April 2025
  • Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA

SC433 - Introduction to Photodetectors and Optical Receivers

Monday, 25 March
08:30 - 12:30 (Pacific Time (US & Canada), UTC - 08:00)

Short Course Level: Beginner


Andreas Beling, University of Virginia, USA

Short Course Description:

This course will cover photodetectors most frequently employed for optical receivers, primarily p-i-n and avalanche photodiodes. Their performance parameters and the physical effects that determine those parameters will be discussed. This course will also cover fundamental optical receiver concepts and implementations, including direct detection and coherent receivers.

Specific topics will include the following:

  • Photodiode fundamentals, e.g., responsivity, dark current, bandwidth, and noise
  • High-speed photodiodes
  • Balanced detectors
  • Avalanche photodiode concepts
  • Photodiodes for photonic integrated circuits, including Si photonics and III-V compound PICs
  • Receiver fundamentals for amplitude shift keying, phase shift keying, and multi-level modulation, coherent detection
Short Course Benefits:

 This course will:

  • Explain the fundamental operation of different types of photodetectors and compare their relative merits. Participants will obtain a broad overview of the photodetectors that are widely deployed in optical communications.
  • Present the state-of-the-art for p-i-n, avalanche, and single-photon photodiodes. Participants will be “up-to-date” with respect to device performance and the, concomitant, limitations.
  • Inform participants of design guidelines and tradeoffs for specific photodetector applications. This will enable participants to specify appropriate detectors.
  • Discuss the fundamentals of receivers for advanced modulation techniques. Participants will become familiar with amplitude modulation, phase shift keying, multi-level modulation, and coherent receivers.
Short Course Audience:

This course is intended for those interested the fundamentals of photodetectors and optical receivers. For example, what are the factors that determine the maximum bandwidth of a photodiode? What are the current “champion” results and what are the inherent tradeoffs with other performance parameters? The device physics will be presented at a high level although some background in semiconductor devices will be beneficial. What are multi-level modulation techniques and the associated receivers. The course is intended for those who are new to the area, while providing useful information to workers in the field.  

Instructor Biography:

Andreas Beling received the Dipl.-Phys. degree (M.S.) in physics from the University of Bonn, Germany, in 2000 and the Dr.-Ing. degree (Ph.D.) in electrical engineering from Technical University Berlin, Germany, in 2006. He was a staff scientist in the photonics division at the Heinrich-Hertz-Institute in Berlin in 2001-2006, a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia in 2006-2008, and has two years of industry experience working on optoelectronic receivers for high-speed fiber optic communication systems. He is currently an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Professor Beling‘s research interests center on photodetectors and integrated photonic technologies for optical communications and microwave photonics. He has authored or co-authored more than 180 technical papers, three book chapters, and four patents.  He is a senior member of the OSA and the IEEE.