This paper describes a method of obtaining the temporal and frequency response of avalanche photodiodes (APD) by performing simple noise measurements. From the measured noise spectrum and by using the Hilbert transformation technique, the complex transfer function of the detector is determined. The temporal response can then easily be calculated by means of fast Fourier transforming. The method has been applied on a high speed APD, with a bandwidth of ~2 GHz, and on a relatively slow APD, with a bandwidth of 0.2 GHz, to calculate the pulse response from a short optical pulse. The calculated pulse width for the fast APD was 215 psec, and the corresponding measured width was 210 psec, while for the slow APD the calculated and the measured widths both were 3.1 nsec. Also the shapes of the pulse responses showed excellent agreement. The method depends on the essentially identical frequency response of an APD and associated circuits for noise due to steady-state illumination and for a signal.
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