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Proceedings Paper

A low power electro-optic polymer clad Mach-Zehnder modulator for high speed optical interconnects
Author(s): Bruce Block; Shawna Liff; Mauro Kobrinsky; Miriam Reshotko; Ricky Tseng; Ibrahim Ban; Peter Chang
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Paper Abstract

Electro-optic (EO) polymer cladding modulators are an option for low-power high-speed optical interconnects on a silicon platform. EO polymers have inherently high switching speeds and have shown 40 Gb/s operation in EO polymer clad ring resonator modulators (RRM). In EO polymer clad RRM, the modulator’s area is small enough to be treated as a lumped capacitor; the capacitance is sufficiently low that the modulation speed is limited by the bandwidth of the resonator. A high Q resonator is needed for low voltage operation, but this can limit the speed and/or require precise control of the resonator’s wavelength, necessitating power consuming heaters to maintain optimal performance over a large temperature range. Mach Zehnder modulators (MZM), on the other hand, are not as sensitive to temperature fluctuations, but typically are relatively long and must employ power consuming terminated travelling wave electrodes. In this paper, a novel MZM design is presented using an EO polymer clad device. In this device, the electrodes are broken into short parallel segments and the waveguide folds around them. The segments of the electrode length are designed to provide good signal integrity up to 20 GHz without termination. The electrodes are driven by a single drive voltage and provide push-pull modulation. Modulators were designed and fabricated using silicon nitride waveguides on bulk silicon wafers and were demonstrated at high speed (20 GHz). A VπL as low as 1.7 Vcm is measured on initial devices. An optimized device could provide 40 Gb/s performance at 1 V drive voltages, ~100 fF total device capacitance and less than 2 dB optical insertion loss.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 March 2013
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8629, Silicon Photonics VIII, 86290Z (14 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2004489
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce Block, Intel Corp. (United States)
Shawna Liff, Intel Corp. (United States)
Mauro Kobrinsky, Intel Corp. (United States)
Miriam Reshotko, Intel Corp. (United States)
Ricky Tseng, Intel Corp. (United States)
Ibrahim Ban, Intel Corp. (United States)
Peter Chang, Intel Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8629:
Silicon Photonics VIII
Joel Kubby; Graham T. Reed, Editor(s)

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