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Ultrafast Fiber Optic Photoreceivers
Multimode, 25 GHz,
Single Mode, 40 GHz,
Input Panel of the RXM25AF
The RXM series of Ultrafast Receivers includes single mode and multimode fiber-coupled photoreceivers with wide wavelength ranges. The core element of each detector is a fiber-coupled, hermetically sealed microwave detector module. For convenience and simplicity of use, the module is mounted inside a rugged aluminum housing that includes current monitor circuitry and a digital display of the DC photocurrent.
Our single mode receivers contain Ø9 µm core SMF-28 single mode fiber, while our multimode detectors contain Ø50 µm core OM4 multimode fiber. Optical input can be coupled from an FC/PC-terminated fiber via the narrow key 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 hybrid patch cables to facilitate connecting optical cables with different connector types and GRIN multimode patch cables for reduced modal dispersion.
Inverting and non-inverting RF signal outputs are available via dual female 2.92 mm RF connectors, which may be connected to a measurement instrument using suitable microwave cables or adapters. If only one RF output is being used, the unused port should be capped with a 50 Ω terminator; two are included with each receiver. Both RF ports may also be used simultaneously. Measurements of the DC photocurrent can be viewed using the digital display, and an SMA jack on the input panel provides the analog current monitor output signal. Please see the Operation tab for additional information on functionality and operation.
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The RX25AF Ultrafast Photoreceiver Module is used in the RXM25AF Ultrafast Photoreceiver Instrument.
The receivers have a peaking adjuster, with either 4 or 8 discrete settings, and a gain adjuster, with 16 discrete settings. The gain adjustment changes the amplitude of the output swing for a given input signal while the peaking adjustment changes the shape of the frequency response. A larger peaking value corresponds to higher magnitudes at high frequencies. By utilizing these two adjustments, a user can maximize the performance of the receiver for a specific application.
Included with each RXM series photoreceiver is a power adapter with a mini-B USB plug and a mounting bracket (ECM175, also available below) that snaps onto the side of the housing. The ECM175 bracket has a #8 (M4) counterbore, which allows easy mounting to a post or any other component with an 8-32 (M4) threaded hole.
The data below is typical. The gain and peak values are set using the controls on the input panel, pictured above. Each position has a detent.
RXM25DF Multimode, 25 GHz, Ultrafast Receiver
RXM25AF Single Mode, 25 GHz, Ultrafast Receiver
RXM40AF Single Mode, 40 GHz, Ultrafast Receiver
Quick Start Guide
ESD Sensitive Components: Please note that the components inside the RXM 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.
Mounting the Detector: The included ECM175 mounting clamp, also available below, has a single counterbore that accepts a 8-32 (M4) cap screw (not included). Screw the clamp to the desired base or post before snapping it to the side of the detector housing and securing it using the integrated 5/64" (2 mm) locking screw.
RF and Photocurrent Monitor Output: Connection cables attached to the RF output ports, shown in Figure 3, and SMA photocurrent monitor port, shown in Figure 1, must be properly shielded. Attach the RF output of the RXM series unit to the measurement instrument using suitable cables or adapters, such at Thorlabs' microwave cables and adapters. If only one RF port is used, cap the unused port with a 50 Ω terminator; two are included with each unit. The measurement instrument must have a 50 Ω input and adequate bandwidth to resolve the high-speed signal from the RXM series ultrafast receiver.
Optical Fiber Input: Ensure the input optical power does not exceed +10 dBm. The FC/PC bulkhead connector used to couple the optical input signal to the detector is located on the input panel of the unit, shown in Figure 1. Fiber connector tips should be cleaned properly before making any connections. While multimode versions of the RXM series may use either single mode or multimode fiber inputs, single mode versions require Ø9 µm core single mode fiber.
DC Photocurrent Monitor: The DC photocurrent can be monitored directly by viewing the built-in digital display shown in Figure 2, as well as by using most voltmeters to read the analog voltage signal output via the high-impedance SMA jack located on the input panel shown in Figure 1. The units on the displayed digital current measurement can be toggled between µA and mA using the button on the front panel. There may be a small discrepancy (within specification) between the screen and SMA monitor output signal. The digital display reports a wide range of current values, up to 20 mA with a resolution of 1 nA, with the display automatically changing range in response to the signal magnitude. The analog voltage signal sent to the SMA connector has a linear relationship with the measured DC photocurrent up to 3.5 V: the transimpedance gain of the current monitor provides 200 mV per 1 mA of photocurrent. This linear relationship limits the current range reported by the analog SMA output signal, so that the range is smaller than that provided by the digital display.
Cleaning the Housing: Use a soft cloth moistened with mild glass cleaner. Do not spray directly onto unit.
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Figure 3: Output Panel of the RXM Series Ultrafast Detector
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Figure 2: Front Panel of the RXM25AF 25 GHz Detector
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Figure 1: Input Panel of the RXM25AF Ultrafast Detectors
Components Included with the RXM Series Ultrafast Detectors
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Components of the RXM Series Ultrafast Receivers
(RXM40AF Photoreceiver Shown)
Janis Valdmanis, Ph.D. Optics
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.
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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:
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.
To meet a range of requirements, our fiber-optic instruments span a variety 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.
Customization options include internal laser sources, operating wavelength ranges, optical fiber types, and amplifier types.
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.
Customization options include single mode and multimode optical fiber options, where applicable, and detectors optimized for time or frequency domain operation.
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.
Customization options for the pulsed lasers include emission wavelength, optical output powers, and sub-nanosecond pulse widths.
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An RXM40AF Mounted on a Ø1" Post Using a ECM175
Each RXM Series Photoreceiver includes one ECM175 anodized aluminum clamp, which snaps onto the bottom of the detector's housing and is secured by tightening the flexure lock using the 2 mm (5/64") hex locking screw. Additional ECM175 clamps are available separately. The ECM175 is part of Thorlabs' family of aluminum side clamps that are designed to securely mount Thorlabs' rectangular electronics housings.
The ECM175 has one #8 (M4) counterbored through hole, allowing the clamp to be mounted onto a Ø1/2" post or any surface with an 8-32 (M4) tap. The clamp must be mounted via the counterbored through hole before the electronics housing is attached, as the counterbore will not be accessible once the housing is secured in the clamp.
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Region-Specific Adapters for DS5
The DS5 is a 5 V regulated power supply with a USB Type-A female port. It can be used with any USB-compatible device that accepts a 5 VDC output, and is directly compatible with our DXM series of ultrafast fiber optic detectors and our RXM series of ultrafast fiber optic receivers when used with the USB-AB-72 USB cable (sold separately). In addition to the USB-AB-72, we also offer other USB 2.0 cables. A region-specific adapter plug is shipped with the DS5 power supply unit based on your location.