Ultracompact (3 mu m) silicon slow-light optical modulator

Aron Opheij*, Nir Rotenberg, Daryl M. Beggs, Isabella H. Rey, Thomas F. Krauss, L. Kuipers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wavelength-scale optical modulators are essential building blocks for future on-chip optical interconnects. Any modulator design is a trade-off between bandwidth, size and fabrication complexity, size being particularly important as it determines capacitance and actuation energy. Here, we demonstrate an interesting alternative that is only 3 mm long, only uses silicon on insulator (SOI) material and accommodates several nanometres of optical bandwidth at 1550 nm. The device is based on a photonic crystal waveguide: by combining the refractive index shift with slow-light enhanced absorption induced by free-carrier injection, we achieve an operation bandwidth that significantly exceeds the shift of the bandedge. We compare a 3 mm and an 80 mm long modulator and surprisingly, the shorter device outperforms the longer one. Despite its small size, the device achieves an optical bandwidth as broad as 7 nm for an extinction ratio of 10 dB, and modulation times ranging between 500 ps and 100 ps.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3546
Number of pages5
JournalScientific Reports
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • CRYSTAL WAVE-GUIDES
  • PHOTONIC CRYSTALS
  • ELECTROABSORPTION MODULATOR
  • LOW-POWER
  • NANOCAVITY
  • CHIP

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