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All-silicon integrated optical modulator

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4 Author(s)
O. Solgaard ; E.L. Ginzton Lab., Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; A. A. Godil ; B. R. Hemenway ; D. M. Bloom

The authors describe the operating principle, design, and performance of an all-silicon light modulator at 1.3 μm wavelength. The modulator is based on the plasma effect in silicon and the mode selectivity of single-mode optical fibers, resulting in low polarization dependence and the capability of handling high light intensities. Standard silicon IC technology is used in the fabrication process and the modulator has a vertical structure that takes up a small surface area (the active area matches the single-mode fiber core of 9 μm diameter), simplifying integration with other circuitry on the same chip. The modulator can be directly coupled to a single-mode optical fiber, without using lenses or other bulk optical components. Typical performance of the fabricated modulators is 6 dB insertion loss, 24% modulation depth, and 60 MHz bandwidth with a current drive of 22 mA rms

Published in:

IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 5 )