Motivated by the need for affordable, high-performance fiber-optic microwave links in fiber-fed microcellular networks and radar systems, we have performed a comprehensive experimental evaluation of the microwave modulation characteristics of high-speed oxide-confined vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) emitting at 840 nm. VCSELs with different oxide aperture diameters,including both single-and multimode lasers, have been used to track the dependence on modal behavior. The study includes both static and dynamic characteristics,with an emphasis on those of major importance for analog modulation. This includes the small-signal modulation response (S11 and S21), the relative intensity noise (RIN), and the intermodulation distortion. From this, we determine the spurious free dynamic range, the impedance characteristics, and the speed limitations.
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