A method is presented for characterizing the linearity of photodetectors based on time-domain analysis of response to sinusoidal excitation. Nonlinearity is quantified solely from the output distortion. Relative response is converted to absolute response by including two calibration points. For low signal level, one calibration point is required, while using dark current as the second point. The response is mapped over a wider range using a series of overlapping sinusoids for calibration transfer. The method is demonstrated with a relatively linear photodiode and a nonlinear phototransistor. A Michelson interferometer is used to generate sinusoidal modulation of a laser source. Results demonstrate the potential of the proposed technique.
© 2012 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article