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Authors: A. Rahim, A. Hermans, B. Wohlfeil, D. Petousi, B. Kuyken, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets
Title: Taking Silicon Photonics Modulators to a Higher Performance Level: State of the Art and A Review of New Technologies
Format: International Journal
Publication date: 4/2021
Journal/Conference/Book: Advanced Photonics (invited)
Editor/Publisher: SPIE, 
Volume(Issue): 3(2) p. 024003-1 to 024003-23
DOI: 10.1117/1.AP.3.2.024003
Citations: 6 (Dimensions.ai - last update: 17/10/2021)
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Download: Download this Publication (2.1MB) (2.1MB)

Abstract

Optical links are cranking to higher and higher transmission speeds while shrinking to shorter and shorter ranges where optical links are envisaged even at the chip-scale. The scaling in data speed and span of the optical links demands modulators to be performant and cost-effective at the same time. Silicon photonics, a photonic integrated circuit technology that leverages the fabrication sophistication of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, is ideally positioned to deliver the performance, price and manufacturing volume for the high-speed modulators of future optical communication links. Silicon photonics has relied on the plasma dispersion effect, either in injection, depletion, or accumulation mode, to demonstrate efficient high-speed modulators. The performance of plasma dispersion modulators is nearing its performance ceiling, which is below the performance demands from the next generation of optical links. As a result, recent years have seen a paradigm shift where the integration of a variety of electro-refractive and electro-absorptive materials is taking the performance of these silicon photonics modulators to a whole new level. The focus of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of contemporary (i.e., plasma dispersion modulators) and new modulator implementations that involve the integration of novel materials with silicon
photonics.

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