Digital free-space optical interconnections: A comparison of transmitter technologies

Chi Fan, Barmak Mansoorian, Daniel A. Van Blerkom, Mark W. Hansen, Volkan H. Ozguz, Sadik C. Esener, Gary C. Marsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We investigate the performance of free-space optical interconnection systems at the technology level. Specifically, three optical transmitter technologies, lead-lanthanum-zirconate-titanate and multiple-quantum-well modulators and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, are evaluated. System performance is measured in terms of the achievable areal data throughput and the energy required per transmitted bit. It is shown that lead-lanthanum-zirconate-titanate modulator and vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser technologies are well suited for applications in which a large fan-out per transmitter is required but the total number of transmitters is relatively small. Multiple-quantum-well modulators, however, are good candidates for applications in which many transmitters with a limited fan-out are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3103-3115
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Jun 10 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Free-space optical interconnection
  • Lead-lanthanum-zirconate-titanate modulator
  • Multiplequantum- well modulator
  • Surface-emitting laser

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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