High-speed silicon electro-optic modulator for electronic photonic integrated circuits
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Franz X. Kärtner.
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The development of future electronic-photonic integrated circuits (EPIC) based on silicon technology critically depends on the availability of CMOS-compatible high-speed modulators that enable the interaction of electronic and optical signals. This thesis investigates electrically driven Mach-Zehnder modulators based on high-index contrast silicon waveguide technology and electronic carrier injection. Modulators based on four different structures are investigated: the forward-biased PiN diode with and without lifetime reduction, the reverse-biased PIN/PN diode and a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structure. These devices are compared with each other in terms of achievable performance. A modulator based on the forward-biased PIN diode with lifetime reduction is designed to reach 34GHz bandwidth and a low figure of merit V -. L = 0.6V - cm using a carrier lifetime reduction and a graded doping profile. A bandwidth of 1-2GHz has been demonstrated so far which is considerably smaller than the design bandwidth due to high series resistance. Modulators based on the forward-biased PIN structure without lifetime reduction have a low figure of merit, very low voltage and extremely low power consumption in the low frequency regime.(cont.) The measurements demonstrate a RF power consumption of 100mW for 25% modulation depth and a figure of merit of V, - L = 0.28V - cm at frequencies up to 10GHz. A pre-compensation technique, using a high pass filter which consists of a parallel resistor and capacitor, extends the modulator bandwidth from 100MHz to 5GHz experimentally. Further it is shown that, modulators based on the reverse-biased structure can in principle reach very high speed, up to 40-80GHz in design but it's difficult to reduce V, - L values close to or even below 1V - cm and the necessary drive voltage is higher than the voltage provided by the CMOS technology. For the measured bandwidth of the fabricated devices so far only 1-2GHz has been demonstrated. This discrepancy is caused by the RC delay due to the experimental setup and high contact resistance. Finally, the performance of the modulator based on the metal-on-semiconductor (MOS) structure is analyzed. Furthermore, an electrically driven Mach-Zehnder waveguide modulator based on a high-index contrast silicon split-ridge waveguide (SRW) technology and electronic carrier injection is proposed.(cont.) The excellent optical and carrier confinement possible in high-index contrast waveguide devices, together with the forward biased operation and the good thermal heat sinking due to the silicon slab close to the waveguide, enables high speed modulation with small signal modulation bandwidths beyond 20GHz, a V, times length figure of merit of V, - L = 0.5Vcm and an insertion loss of about 5.3 dB. Finally, all-optical switches based on optical carrier-injection in high index contrast Si/Si02 split-ridge-waveguide (SRW) couplers are proposed. The waveguide devices are suitable for the construction of low-loss optical switch matrices as well as fast optical switching. These devices exhibit robustness against fabrication tolerances, improved heat sinking, good carrier confinement and high uniformity in transmission over the entire C-band of optical communications in contrast to comparable devices based on buried or ridge waveguides. A reasonably low electrical switching power of 1-10mW is predicted for switching frequencies in the 1MHz-1GHz range. Faster switching speed can be achieved by carrier lifetime reduction.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2007.Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-184).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.