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Proceedings Paper

Novel high-frequency QW optical modulator based on surface effects
Author(s): Francis Karwacki; Hongliang Cui; Martin A. Sanzari; Zameer U. Hasan
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Paper Abstract

This paper is directed at the analysis of the basic operating principles, design, operation, and performance of a different type of optical modulator, capable of large phase modulation through the change of the optical index of refraction. This is achieved by modification of waveguide boundary conditions by incorporating quantum wells that can be charged or emptied of electrons at the planar dielectric waveguide boundaries, by application of gate voltages. Such an unconventional way of achieving the desired modifications in the optical refractive index will provide attractive alternative and more versatility than the conventional means of realizing such modifications, such as electro-optical effects (electroabsorption, Franz- Keldysh effect, optical birefringence), carrier induced effects (band filling, band gap renormalization), and free carrier absorption (plasma effect). Furthermore, the technology (e.g. molecular beam epitaxy, metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, ion beam etching, and other micro machining techniques) of fabrication of these new devices is already in place, so the proposed concept can be tested to facilitate further development. Based on these projections, we propose a planar-based dielectric waveguide having confined electrons in quantum wells at the boundaries. Microstructure devices made from semiconductors, e.g. CoSi2 or GaAs/Ga1-xAlxAs, are the most practically fabricated in the form of planar structures. Moreover, it is well adapted for various gate electrode geometries for activation and control of the quantum wells.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 October 1998
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3429, Current Developments in Optical Design and Engineering VII, (29 October 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.328534
Show Author Affiliations
Francis Karwacki, Naval Air Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Hongliang Cui, Stevens Institute of Technology (United States)
Martin A. Sanzari, Fordham Univ. (United States)
Zameer U. Hasan, Temple Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3429:
Current Developments in Optical Design and Engineering VII
Alson E. Hatheway; Robert E. Fischer; Malachy McConnell; Lawrence M. Germann; Lawrence M. Germann; Alson E. Hatheway; Malachy McConnell; Warren J. Smith, Editor(s)

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