An avalanche photodiode (APD) delivers a useful electron-multiplier gain and generally improves signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in optical communication systems. An APD is similar to a PIN photodiode with the addition of a thin, high electric field region next to the depletion region where photons generate electron-hole pairs. Photo-generated carriers rapidly drift into the high field region and acquire energy from the applied field.
When photo-generated carriers receive sufficient
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