OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 53, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2014
  • pp: 347–350

Optimal power split ratio for autobalanced photodetection

Chia-Yu Chang and Jow-Tsong Shy  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 53, Issue 3, pp. 347-350 (2014)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (205 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The noise suppression of the autobalanced photoreceiver devised by Hobbs [Proc. SPIE 1376, 216 (1990)] had been determined to depend on the photocurrent ratio of reference beam to signal beam under the condition of constant signal beam photocurrent, and the best noise cancellation was suggested at a ratio close to 2. But in most applications, the available optical power has a limit. Therefore, to optimize the sensitivity of measurements, we should consider how to allocate the beam power in the case of fixed total optical power. In this paper, we measure the air Faraday rotation at different azimuth angles of beam polarization, which correspond to different photocurrent ratios. The signal-to-noise ratio at each photocurrent ratio is determined, and the best sensitivity appears at the photocurrent ratio of 1. This best sensitivity achieved is 3.02×108radHz1/2, which is about 1.3 times the shot noise limit. Our results are useful for sensitive optical measurements with the autobalanced photoreceiver.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.1880) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Detection
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry
(120.7000) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Transmission

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: October 7, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 14, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: December 14, 2013
Published: January 14, 2014

Chia-Yu Chang and Jow-Tsong Shy, "Optimal power split ratio for autobalanced photodetection," Appl. Opt. 53, 347-350 (2014)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. L. R. Ingersoll and W. L. James, “A sensitive photoelectric method for measuring the Faraday effect,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 24, 23–25 (1953). [CrossRef]
  2. H. Adams, D. Reinert, P. Kalkert, and W. Urban, “A differential detection scheme for Faraday rotation spectroscopy with a color center laser,” Appl. Phys. B 34, 179–185 (1984). [CrossRef]
  3. C. B. Carlisle and D. E. Cooper, “Tunable-diode-laser frequency-modulation spectroscopy using balanced homodyne detection,” Opt. Lett. 14, 1306–1308 (1989). [CrossRef]
  4. P. C. D. Hobbs, “Shot noise limited optical measurements at baseband with noisy lasers,” Proc. SPIE 1376, 216–221 (1990). [CrossRef]
  5. K. L. Haller and P. C. D. Hobbs, “Double beam laser absorption spectroscopy: shot noise-limited performance at baseband with a novel electronic noise canceller,” Proc. SPIE 1435, 298–309 (1991). [CrossRef]
  6. P. C. D. Hobbs, “Ultrasensitive laser measurements without tears,” Appl. Opt. 36, 903–920 (1997). [CrossRef]
  7. X. Wang, M. Jefferson, P. C. D. Hobbs, W. P. Risk, B. E. Feller, R. D. Miller, and A. Knoesen, “Shot-noise limited detection for surface plasmon sensing,” Opt. Express 19, 107–117 (2011). [CrossRef]
  8. C. Y. Chang, L. Wang, J. T. Shy, C. E. Lin, and C. Chou, “Sensitive Faraday rotation measurement with auto-balanced photodetection,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 82, 063112 (2011). [CrossRef]
  9. B. Brumfield and G. Wysocki, “Faraday rotation spectroscopy based on permanent magnets for sensitive detection of oxygen at atmospheric conditions,” Opt. Express 20, 29727–29742 (2012). [CrossRef]
  10. “Nirvana Auto-Balanced Photoreceivers: Model 2007 & 2017 User’s Manual,” New Focus, 2002, p. 12.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited