# Electronic – Diminished data rate with logic output optoisolator

opto-isolator

I am using a logic output type optoisolator (H11L1S) that has a nominal data rate of 1 MHz, yet in practice I can't even achieve 100 kHz. Where am I going wrong? Is this maximum data rate unattainable?

Here is the relevant circuitry:

I am driving the LED at 2.8 mA, which is well above the minimum turn-on current of 1.6 mA (plus 10 % guard band suggested by the datasheet). Q18 is a prebiased NPN with 2K2 base resistance and 47K pull-down resistance. Below is a scope capture of the clock signal (ADC_SCK, yellow) and LED cathode (blue). Once the transistor turns off the cathode voltage takes more than $$\5\mu s\$$ to reach +3V3 — i.e. the LED turns off very slowly — such that the receiver does not register the change in state.

This means the hot-side circuitry (ADC_SCLK, blue) sees a very slow clock: