3 years ago

Ultracompact Silicon-Conductive Oxide Nanocavity Modulator with 0.02 Lambda-Cubic Active Volume

Ultracompact Silicon-Conductive Oxide Nanocavity Modulator
with 0.02 Lambda-Cubic Active Volume
Ray T. Chen, Erwen Li, Qian Gao, Alan X. Wang
Silicon photonic modulators rely on the plasma dispersion effect by free-carrier injection or depletion, which can only induce moderate refractive index perturbation. Therefore, the size and energy efficiency of silicon photonic modulators are ultimately limited as they are also subject to the diffraction limit. Here we report an ultracompact electro-optic modulator with total device footprint of 0.6 × 8 μm2 by integrating voltage-switched transparent conductive oxide with one-dimensional silicon photonic crystal nanocavity. The active modulation volume is only 0.06 um3, which is less than 2% of the lambda-cubic volume. The device operates in the dual mode of cavity resonance and optical absorption by exploiting the refractive index modulation from both the conductive oxide and the silicon waveguide induced by the applied gate voltage. Such a metal-free, hybrid silicon-conductive oxide nanocavity modulator also demonstrates only 0.5 dB extra optical loss, moderate Q-factor above 1000, and high energy efficiency of 46 fJ/bit. The combined results achieved through the holistic design opened a new route for the development of next generation electro-optic modulators that can be used for future on-chip optical interconnects.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b04588

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b04588

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