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Proceedings Paper

High-Speed Mach-Zehnder Modulator
Author(s): C. M. Gee; G. D. Thurmond
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Paper Abstract

We have designed and fabricated an integrated-optics Mach-Zehnder interferometric modulator. The electrodes are 3 μm thick asymmetric coplanar striplines, formed by ion-beam etching techniques. Complete modulation is achieved with 6.5 volts for the 6 mm long device at 0.83 μm wavelength and with 18 volts at 1.3 μm wavelength. The modulator's optical characteristics have been measured up to 3 GHz and its rf characteristics up to 18 GHz. The rf characteristic of the stripline electrodes are highly sensitive to fabrication and packaging. In fact, by electroplating instead of sputter-depositing the gold stripline electrodes and by modifying the device package, the 3 dB bandwidth of our device increased from 3.5 GHz to 16.5 GHz. In addition, resonances, commonly observed in previous devices, were eliminated after the modifications, yielding for the first time, smooth frequency response up to 17 GHz. Since this particular modulator retains a dc electrical bias, it performs either as an intensity modulator by applying a π/2 dc phase bias to achieve maximum linearity or as a frequency shifter by changing the dc bias point to π. In addition, we analyzed the principle of operation of the Y-junction by observing both the in-phase and the out-of-phase modes of a multimode waveguide modulator.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 November 1983
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0408, Integrated Optics III, (30 November 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.935711
Show Author Affiliations
C. M. Gee, Hughes Research Laboratories (United States)
G. D. Thurmond, Hughes Research Laboratories (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0408:
Integrated Optics III
Dennis G. Hall; Lynn D. Hutcheson, Editor(s)

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