Abstract

Direct time-domain sampling oscilloscopic capture of ultra-high bandwidth (32–102 GHz) modulated optical waveforms at 1550 nm is demonstrated at optical power levels below −100 dBm. To detect fast optical waveforms directly at power levels far below what traditional optical oscilloscope methods can measure, we use a time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) sampling acquisition method, recently developed integrated electro-optic devices with >100 GHz electro-optic bandwidth, and single photon detectors with < 5 ps jitter. We show the reconstruction of the time domain signals by collecting histograms of time-binned single photons captured using TCSPC and characterize the spectral components in the frequency domain. The ability to acquire ultra-weak eye diagrams and identify high-frequency spectral components from a relatively small ensemble of single-photon measurements may lead to significant advances in optical waveform capture technology.

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