A light-transmitting two-dimensional photodetector array (32×32 cells) using amorphous silicon (a-Si) pin photodiodes and polysilicon (poly-Si) thin film transistors (TFT's) integrated on a transparent substrate has been developed for use in a free-space optical switching network. The fabrication and the characteristics of the photodetector array are discussed. With driving circuits and sensing amplifiers, this photodetector array shows a minimum detectable power of -25 dBm and an insertion loss of 0.4 dB for an incident optical beam with a diameter of 550 μm. By monitoring the positions and the states of input optical beams, this photodetector array can be used to control the optical paths in photonic switching systems, such as a 1024-input-port optical concentrator.
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