2013 Volume E96.C Issue 2 Pages 227-234
This article describes the frequency response and the applications of the optical electric-field sensor consisting of a 1mm × 1mm × 1mm CdTe crystal mounted on the tip of an optical fiber, which theoretically possesses the potential to cover the frequency band from below megahertz to terahertz. We utilize a capacitor, GTEM-Cell, and standard gain horn antennas for applying a free-space electric field to the optical sensor at frequencies from 20kHz to 1GHz, from 1GHz to 18GHz, and from 10 to 180GHz, respectively. An electric-field measurement demonstrates its flat frequency response within a 6-dB range from 20kHz to 50GHz except for the resonance due to the piezo-electric effect at a frequency around 1MHz. The sensitivity increases due to the resonance of the radio frequency wave propagating in the crystal at the frequencies higher than 50GHz. These experimental results demonstrate that the optical electric-field sensor is a superior tool for the wide-band measurement which is impossible with conventional sensors such as a dipole, a loop, and a horn antenna. In transient electrostatic discharge measurements, electric-field mapping, and near-field antenna measurements, the optical electric-field sensor provide the useful information for the deterioration diagnosis and the lifetime prognosis of electric circuits and devices. These applications of the optical electric-field sensor are regarded as promising ways for sowing the seeds of evolution in electric-field measurements for antenna measurement, EMC, and EMI.