An ultralow power athermal silicon modulator
Author(s)Timurdogan, Erman; Sorace-Agaskar, Cheryl M.; Sun, Jie; Shah Hosseini, Ehsan; Biberman, Aleksandr; Watts, Michael; ... Show more Show less
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Silicon photonics has emerged as the leading candidate for implementing ultralow power wavelength–division–multiplexed communication networks in high-performance computers, yet current components (lasers, modulators, filters and detectors) consume too much power for the high-speed femtojoule-class links that ultimately will be required. Here we demonstrate and characterize the first modulator to achieve simultaneous high-speed (25 Gb s[superscript −1]), low-voltage (0.5 V[subscript PP]) and efficient 0.9 fJ per bit error-free operation. This low-energy high-speed operation is enabled by a record electro-optic response, obtained in a vertical p–n junction device that at 250 pm V[superscript −1] (30 GHz V[superscript −1]) is up to 10 times larger than prior demonstrations. In addition, this record electro-optic response is used to compensate for thermal drift over a 7.5 °C temperature range with little additional energy consumption (0.24 fJ per bit for a total energy consumption below 1.03 J per bit). The combined results of highly efficient modulation and electro-optic thermal compensation represent a new paradigm in modulator development and a major step towards single-digit femtojoule-class communications.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Nature Publishing Group
Timurdogan, Erman, Cheryl M. Sorace-Agaskar, Jie Sun, Ehsan Shah Hosseini, Aleksandr Biberman, and Michael R. Watts. “An Ultralow Power Athermal Silicon Modulator.” Nature Communications 5 (June 11, 2014).
Final published version