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Ultrafast Fiber Optic Photodetector Modules, OEM Package


  • Eight Models Cover Wavelengths from 700 nm to 1650 nm
  • High-Fidelity Impulse Responses Down to 15 ps FWHM
  • Bandwidths from 12 GHz to 30 GHz
  • High-Power 25 GHz Model for up to 100 mW (20 dBm)

DX12CF

SM, 12 GHz,
700 - 870 nm

DX25HA

SM, 25 GHz,
980 - 1625 nm,
Input ≤100 mW

DX30BF

MM, 30 GHz,
750 - 1650 nm

Compact, Hermetically Sealed Package for OEM Applications

Related Items


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DX Series Operating Ranges
Click to Enlarge
While each DX Series model is designed and intended for operation over the specified wavelength range shown by the solid colored regions above, each will respond with reduced performance to optical inputs at shorter wavelengths, as shown by the partially transparent regions. See the plots in the Graphs tab for details. Please contact Tech Support for more information.

Janis Valdmanis, Ph.D. Optics
Ultrafast Optoelectronics
General Manager

We Design, Develop, and Manufacture
Equipment up to 70 GHz

Questions?

Demo Unit Requests?

Product Suggestions?

Custom or OEM Applications?

Contact Me

Features

  • Visible, Near-Infrared, or Broadband Wavelength Ranges
  • Ultrafast Detectors with Smooth Frequency Response for Bandwidths up to 30 GHz
  • High-Power Options Provide a Linear Response Up to 20 dBm (100 mW) of Input Power
  • DC-Coupled Output
  • Hermetically Sealed GaAs or InGaAs Detector Module
  • SM or MM Pigtailed Fiber Options
    • SMF-28 Single Mode Fiber: DX12CF, DX20AF, DX25HA, DX25HF, DX25CF, and DX30AF
    • OM4 (Ø50 µm Core) Multimode Fiber: DX12DF, DX25DF, and DX30BF
  • RF Output Signal via SMA-Compatible 2.92 mm K Connector
  • Compact Package and Easy Integration Ideal for OEM Applications
  • Discounts for High-Volume Purchases Available; Contact Tech Support with Inquiries

The DX series of ultrafast detector modules include single-mode and multimode fiber-coupled photodetectors with wide wavelength ranges, as shown to the right. Each provides a high-fidelity electrical output pulse in response to an optical input pulse with clean impulse responses down to 15 ps (FWHM). Each detector consists of a fiber-coupled, hermetically sealed microwave detector module that enables it to be easily used for OEM applications (see the Operation tab for details). Thorlabs also offers these detectors as self-contained instruments in a rugged aluminum housing that includes a rechargeable battery with 500 mA·h capacity, current monitor circuitry, and a digital display of the DC photocurrent (click here for the full web presentation).

Our single mode detectors utilize a Ø9 µm core SMF-28 single mode fiber, while our multimode detectors use a Ø50 µm core OM4 multimode fiber. Optical input can be coupled from an FC/PC-terminated fiber via the FC bulkhead connector. Our multimode ultrafast detectors are designed to accept input from multimode or single-mode optical fiber connectors, making them versatile measurement instruments for research and commercial applications. We offer single mode and multimode hybrid patch cables to facilitate the connection of optical cables with different connector types. The RF signal outputs via a female SMA-compatible 2.92 mm RF connector, which may be connected to a measurement instrument using suitable microwave cables or adapters. An internal biasing network eliminates the need for an external bias tee, resulting in a clean pulse output that is DC coupled.

The performance of each DX series ultrafast detector is factory tested, and the individualized test results are provided with each detector. Please contact Tech Support if you would also like to receive a data file containing these test results. A sample data sheet for the DX30BF ultrafast detector can be viewed here.

Webpage Features
info icon Clicking this icon below opens a window that contains full specifications and performance graphs for each item.
info icon Clicking this icon below allows you to download our standard support documentation for each item.

Click the blue info icons (info icon) below to open a window that contains full specifications and performance graphs for each item.

Item # DX12CF DX12DF DX20AF DX25HA DX25HF DX25CF DX25DF DX30AF DX30BF
Complete Specs info info info info info info info info info

Click to Enlarge
Typical Frequency Responses for the DX Series Ultrafast Detectors
Please see the blue info icons below () for individual plots.

Click to Enlarge
Typical Spectral Responses for the DX Series Ultrafast Detectors
Measured data is shown by the solid line, while theoretical data is shown by the dotted line. Please see the blue info icons below () for individual plots.

Click to Enlarge
Typical Impulse Responses for the DX Series Ultrafast Detectors
Please see the blue info icons below () for individual plots.

Click to Enlarge
Typical Electrical Return Loss for the DX Series Ultrafast Detectors
Please see the blue info icons below () for individual plots.
drawingClick to Enlarge
Schematic of Pins and Connectors. The DX25HA Photodetector has an FC/APC Connector.

Operation Guide

Please reference the drawing to the right for connection options. Unpack the unit carefully making sure to take ESD precautions.

  1. Mount the unit using the through hole mounting features.
  2. Attach the SMA-compatible, 2.92 mm RF output of the unit to the measurement instrument using suitable cables or adapters. The measurement instrument must have a 50 Ω input and adequate bandwidth to resolve the high-speed signal from the ultrafast detector.
  3. Apply a 4 VDC voltage between the bias and ground pins.
  4. Couple the optical input signal to the detector via the FC/PC or FC/APC connector. Ensure the average input optical power does not exceed 10 dBm.
  5. The DC photocurrent can be monitored using a resistor in series with the bias pin and a voltmeter across the resistor. Make sure that the voltage drop across the resistor does not reduce the bias on the module below its operating voltage.

ESD Sensitive Components: Please note that the components inside the DX series units are ESD sensitive. Take all appropriate precautions to discharge personnel and equipment before making any electrical connections to the unit. This especially applies to coaxial connecting cables that can accumulate capacitive charge.


Janis Valdmanis, Ph.D. Optics
Ultrafast Optoelectronics
General Manager

Custom and OEM Options

When your application requirements are not met by our range of catalog products or their variety of user-configurable features, please contact me to discuss how we may serve your custom or OEM needs.  

Request a Demo Unit

Explore the benefits of using a Thorlabs high-speed instrument in your setup and under your test conditions with a demo unit. Contact me for details.

Contact Me

MX40B with cover removed
Click to Enlarge

 The MX40B Digital Reference Transmitter

Design, Manufacturing, and Testing Capabilities

Thorlabs' Ultrafast Optoelectronics Team designs, develops, and manufactures high-speed components and instrumentation for a variety of photonics applications having frequency responses up to 70 GHz. Our extensive experience in high-speed photonics is supported by core expertise in RF/microwave design, optics, fiber optics, optomechanical design, and mixed-signal electronics. As a division of Thorlabs, a company with deep vertical integration and a portfolio of over 20,000 products, we are able to provide and support a wide selection of equipment and continually expand our offerings.

Our catalog and custom products include a range of integrated fiber-optic transmitters, modulator drivers and controllers, detectors, receivers, pulsed lasers, variable optical attenuators, and a variety of accessories. Beyond these products, we welcome opportunities to design and produce custom and OEM products that fall within our range of capabilities and expertise. Some of our key capabilities are:

  • Detector and Receiver Design, to 70 GHz
  • Fiber-Optic Transmitter Design, to 70 GHz
  • RF & Microwave Design and Simulation
  • Design of Fiber-Optic and Photonics Sub-Assemblies
  • High-Speed Testing, to 70 GHz
  • Micro-Assembly and Wire Bonding
  • Hermetic Sealing of Microwave Modules
  • Fiber Splicing of Assemblies
  • Custom Laser Engraving
  • Qualification Testing

Overview of Custom and Catalog Products  

Our catalog product line includes a range of integrated fiber-optic transmitters, modulator drivers and controllers, detectors, pulsed lasers, and accessories. In addition to these, we offer related items, such as receivers and customized catalog products. The following sections give an overview of our spectrum of custom and catalog products, from fully integrated instruments to component-level modules.  

Fiber-Optic Instruments

To meet a range of requirements, our fiber-optic instruments span a variety of integration levels. Each complete transmitter includes a tunable laser, a modulator with driver amplifier and bias controller, full control of optical output power, and an intuitive touchscreen interface. The tunable lasers, modulator drivers, and modulator bias controllers are also available separately. These instruments have full remote control capability and can be addressed using serial commands sent from a PC.

  • Fiber-Optic Transmitters, to 70 GHz
  • Linear and Digital Transmitters
  • Electrical-to-Optical Converters, to 70 GHz
  • Modulator Drivers
  • Modulator Bias Controllers
  • C- and L-Band Tunable Lasers 

Customization options include internal laser sources, operating wavelength ranges, optical fiber types, and amplifier types.

Fiber-Optic Components

Our component-level, custom and catalog fiber-optic products take advantage of our module design and hermetic sealing capability. Products include detectors with frequency responses up to 50 GHz, and we also specialize in developing fiber-optic receivers, operating up to and beyond 40 GHz, for instrumentation markets. Closely related products include our amplifier modules, which we offer upon request, variable optical attenuators, microwave cables, and cable accessories.

  • Hermetically-Sealed Detectors, to 50 GHz
  • Fiber-Optic Receivers, to 40 GHz
  • Amplifier Modules
  • Electronic Variable Optical Attenuators
  • Microwave Cables and Accessories 

Customization options include single mode and multimode optical fiber options, where applicable, and detectors optimized for time or frequency domain operation.

Free-Space Instruments

Our free-space instruments include detectors with frequency responses around 1 GHz and pulsed lasers. Our pulsed lasers generate variable-width, nanosecond-duration pulses, and a range of models with different wavelengths and optical output powers are offered. User-adjustable repetition rates and trigger in/out signals provide additional flexibility, and electronic delay-line products enable experimental synchronization of multiple lasers. We can also adapt our pulsed laser catalog offerings to provide gain-switching capability for the generation of pulses in the 100 ps range.

  • Pulsed Lasers with Fixed 10 ns Pulse Duration
  • Pulsed Lasers with Variable Pulse Width and Repetition Rates
  • Electronic Delay Units to Synchronize NPL Series Pulsed Lasers
  • Amplified Detectors

Customization options for the pulsed lasers include emission wavelength, optical output powers, and sub-nanosecond pulse widths.

Pulsed Laser Emission: Power and Energy Calculations

Determining whether emission from a pulsed laser is compatible with a device or application can require referencing parameters that are not supplied by the laser's manufacturer. When this is the case, the necessary parameters can typically be calculated from the available information. Calculating peak pulse power, average power, pulse energy, and related parameters can be necessary to achieve desired outcomes including:

  • Protecting biological samples from harm.
  • Measuring the pulsed laser emission without damaging photodetectors and other sensors.
  • Exciting fluorescence and non-linear effects in materials.

Pulsed laser radiation parameters are illustrated in Figure 1 and described in the table. For quick reference, a list of equations are provided below. The document available for download provides this information, as well as an introduction to pulsed laser emission, an overview of relationships among the different parameters, and guidance for applying the calculations. 

 

Equations:

Period and repetition rate are reciprocal:    and 
Pulse energy calculated from average power:       
Average power calculated from pulse energy:        
Peak pulse power estimated from pulse energy:            

Peak power and average power calculated from each other:
  and
Peak power calculated from average power and duty cycle*:
*Duty cycle () is the fraction of time during which there is laser pulse emission.
Pulsed Laser Emission Parameters
Click to Enlarge

Figure 1: Parameters used to describe pulsed laser emission are indicated in the plot (above) and described in the table (below). Pulse energy (E) is the shaded area under the pulse curve. Pulse energy is, equivalently, the area of the diagonally hashed region. 

Parameter Symbol Units Description
Pulse Energy E Joules [J] A measure of one pulse's total emission, which is the only light emitted by the laser over the entire period. The pulse energy equals the shaded area, which is equivalent to the area covered by diagonal hash marks.
Period Δt  Seconds [s]  The amount of time between the start of one pulse and the start of the next.
Average Power Pavg Watts [W] The height on the optical power axis, if the energy emitted by the pulse were uniformly spread over the entire period.
Instantaneous Power P Watts [W] The optical power at a single, specific point in time.
Peak Power Ppeak Watts [W] The maximum instantaneous optical power output by the laser.
Pulse Width Seconds [s] A measure of the time between the beginning and end of the pulse, typically based on the full width half maximum (FWHM) of the pulse shape. Also called pulse duration.
Repetition Rate frep Hertz [Hz] The frequency with which pulses are emitted. Equal to the reciprocal of the period.

Example Calculation:

Is it safe to use a detector with a specified maximum peak optical input power of 75 mW to measure the following pulsed laser emission?

  • Average Power: 1 mW
  • Repetition Rate: 85 MHz
  • Pulse Width: 10 fs

The energy per pulse:

seems low, but the peak pulse power is:

It is not safe to use the detector to measure this pulsed laser emission, since the peak power of the pulses is >5 orders of magnitude higher than the detector's maximum peak optical input power.


Posted Comments:
firoz Khan  (posted 2019-09-30 15:04:40.11)
Hello SIr, I am Mohammad Firoz Khan doing my research in quantum optics. We have purchased DX30BF, DX20AF Ultrafast Fiber Optic Photodetector Modules from Thorlab. We are not able to employ this detector in our experiments. You have mentioned that 4 VDC voltage between the bias and ground pins. We have applied this biasing voltage and giving optical input on fiber port. Output is collected by the SMA port using a very high speed digital oscilloscope. We are not getting any output signal from detector. We are doing as you mentioned in data sheets. Is there any components we have missed here? Please sort out my problem and make this detector applicable for my experiments.
YLohia  (posted 2019-10-22 02:27:43.0)
Hello Firoz, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. We had reached out to you directly with troubleshooting steps at the time of your original post. If you have further questions regarding this issue, please feel free to reply to my email.

12 GHz Photodetector Modules 

Item #a Full
Specs
Fiber Type Bandwidth Wavelength
Range
Impulse
Response
Responsivity Conversion
Gainb
Optical Return
Loss (Max)
Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)c
Photodiode
Bias Voltage
DX12CF info SMF-28 DC - 12 GHz
(at 780 nm)
700 - 870 nm 30 ps
(FWHM at
780 nm)
0.60 A/W 15 V/W -28 dB 43 pW/√Hz 4 V
DX12DF info OM4 0.55 A/W 14 V/W -18 dB
  • All specifications are typical at 25 °C and 850 nm unless otherwise noted.
  • Across External 50 Ω Load
  • The NEP is limited by the thermal noise of the combined internal and external load resistors.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
DX12CF Support Documentation
DX12CFSingle Mode Ultrafast Detector Module, 700 - 870 nm, DC - 12 GHz, FC/PC
$1,273.08
Today
DX12DF Support Documentation
DX12DFMultimode Ultrafast Detector Module, 700 - 870 nm, DC - 12 GHz, FC/PC
$1,485.26
Today

20 GHz Photodetector Modules

Item #a Full
Specs
Fiber Type Bandwidth Wavelength
Range
Impulse
Response
Responsivity Conversion
Gainb
Optical Return
Loss (Max)
Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)c
Photodiode
Bias Voltage
DX20AF info SMF-28 DC - 20 GHz
(at 1560 nm)
1250 - 1650 nm 18 ps
(FWHM at 1560 nm)
0.9 A/W 22.5 V/W -25 dB 28 pW/√Hz 4 V
  • All specifications are typical at 25 °C and 1550 nm unless otherwise noted.
  • Across External 50 Ω Load
  • The NEP is limited by the thermal noise of the combined internal and external load resistors.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
DX20AF Support Documentation
DX20AFSingle Mode Ultrafast Detector Module, 1250 - 1650 nm, DC - 20 GHz, FC/PC
$2,121.80
Today

25 GHz Photodetector Modules

Item #a Full
Specs
Fiber Type Bandwidth Wavelength
Range
Impulse
Response
Responsivity Conversion
Gainb
Optical Return
Loss (Max)
Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)c
Photodiode
Bias Voltage
DX25CF info SMF-28 DC - 25 GHz
(at 780 nm)
700 - 870 nm 19 ps
(FWHM at
780 nm)
0.5 A/W 12.5 V/W -25 dB 51 pW/√Hz 4 V
DX25DF info OM4 0.45 A/W 11.0 V/W -18 dB
  • All specifications are typical at 25 °C and 850 nm unless otherwise noted.
  • Across External 50 Ω Load
  • The NEP is limited by the thermal noise of the combined internal and external load resistors.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
DX25CF Support Documentation
DX25CFSingle Mode Ultrafast Detector Module, 700 - 870 nm, DC - 25 GHz, FC/PC
$2,758.34
Today
DX25DF Support Documentation
DX25DFMultimode Ultrafast Detector Module, 700 - 870 nm, DC - 25 GHz, FC/PC
$3,182.70
Today

25 GHz Photodetector Modules, High Power Input

  • Linear Response Up to 100 mW (20 dBm) of Input Optical Power
  • Available with an FC/PC or FC/APC Connector
Item #a Full
Specs
Fiber Type Bandwidth Wavelength
Range
Impulse
Response
Responsivity Conversion
Gainb
Optical Return
Loss (Max)
Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)c
Photodiode
Bias Voltage
DX25HF info SMF-28 DC - 25 GHz
(at 1560 nm)
980 - 1625 nm 18.5 ps
(FWHM at 1560 nm)
0.45 A/W 11.5 V/W -25 dB 55 pW/√Hz 9.5 V
DX25HA info
  • All specifications are typical at 25 °C and 1550 nm unless otherwise noted.
  • Across External 50 Ω Load
  • The NEP is limited by the thermal noise of the combined internal and external load resistors.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
DX25HF Support Documentation
DX25HFNEW!Single Mode Ultrafast Detector Module, 980 - 1625 nm, DC - 25 GHz, High Power, FC/PC
$4,000.00
Today
DX25HA Support Documentation
DX25HANEW!Single Mode Ultrafast Detector Module, 980 - 1625 nm, DC - 25 GHz, High Power, FC/APC
$4,000.00
Today

30 GHz Photodetector Modules

Item #a Full
Specs
Fiber Type Bandwidth Wavelength
Range
Impulse
Response
Responsivity Conversion Gainb Optical Return
Loss (Max)
Noise-Equivalent
Power (NEP)c
Photodiode
Bias Voltage
DX30AF info SMF-28 DC - 30 GHz
(at 1560 nm)
750 - 1650 nm 15 ps
(FWHM at
1560 nm) 
0.5 A/W (at 850 nm)
0.75 A/W (at 1550 nm)
12.5 V/W (at 850 nm)
20 V/W (at 1550 nm)
-18 dB
(at 850/1550 nm)
32 pW/√Hz 4 V
DX30BF info OM4 0.45 A/W (at 850 nm)
0.7 A/W (at 1310 nm)
11.3 V/W (at 850 nm)
17.5 V/W (at 1310 nm)
-8 dB
(at 850/1310 nm)
  • All specifications are typical at 25 °C and 1310 nm unless otherwise noted.
  • Across External 50 Ω Load
  • The NEP is specified for single-mode operation at 1310 nm. It is limited by the thermal noise of the combined internal and external load resistors.
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
DX30AF Support Documentation
DX30AFSingle Mode Ultrafast Detector Module, 750 - 1650 nm, DC - 30 GHz, FC/PC
$3,819.24
Today
DX30BF Support Documentation
DX30BFMultimode Ultrafast Detector Module, 750 - 1650 nm, DC - 30 GHz, FC/PC
$4,349.69
Today
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