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Ultracompact, High-Speed Field-Effect Optical Modulators

  • Magazine Article
  • 18AERP09_10
Published 2018-09-01by SAE International in United States
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  • English

Conductive oxides-based modulator devices could provide promising candidates for ultra-compact and ultra-fast optical interconnects in future integrated photonic circuits.

Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

The major goals of this research project included two parts. First, an ultracompact plasmonic electrooptical (EO) modulator was to be developed and investigated for efficient intensity modulation. Second, an ultracompact and high-speed EO modulator based on a dielectric platform was to be developed for straightforward integration with existing CMOS technology. Both modulators were targeted to facilitate next-generation interconnects for integrated photonic circuits.

This work performed on this project explored novel conductive oxide-based slot waveguides based on the unique properties of indium-tin-oxide (ITO). This research was one of the first experimental attempts to demonstrate optical modulators at nanoscale, and one of the first systematic explorations of conductive oxide-based modulation at GHz level. The research results contribute towards the advancement of nanophotonic technology and on-chip optical interconnects, and will support fundamental theory and techniques for field-effect electro-absorption modulators.