APD receivers with integrated coolers

Nextreme Thermal Solutions has integrated its OptoCooler UPF4 thermoelectric cooler into Voxtel's VDHAX line of hermetically-packaged avalanche photodiode (APD) receivers. 

With Nextreme's thin-film thermal bump technology at its core, the OptoCooler UPF4 was integrated directly into the VDH-A TO-8 package to deliver more than 45°C of cooling during operation. The UPF4 removes a maximum of 610mW of heat at 85°C ambient in an active footprint of only 0.55mm2.

The new OptoCooler-equipped APD device will be used for applications in military laser radar and optical communications and commercial telecommunications.

Avalanche photodiodes are extremely sensitive semiconductor-based detectors of light in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. APDs can multiply the signal produced by incident light by as much as 100 million times, enabling photon detection at very low light levels. Performance of an APD is usually limited by thermally-generated noise, which can be reduced by cooling the chip.

Cooling of the photodiode improves its efficiency, lowers noise, broadens the spectral and frequency response, and improves the overall gain. Cooling also improves the device's reliability and life span required by stringent military laser radar and freespace optical communications standards.