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Proceedings Paper

Low-voltage modulators using thin-film lithium niobate
Author(s): Abu Naim R. Ahmed; Shouyuan Shi; Sean Nelan; Andrew J. Mercante; Peng Yao; Dennis W. Prather
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents an overview and application of thin-film-lithium-niobate (TFLN) modulators that have low drive voltages, i.e., Vπ. Such modulators are critical components for realizing high-speed operation in a modern telecommunication networks, wireless communications, and RF-Photonic applications. Recent developments in crystalion- slice TFLN have enabled a new class of electro-optic modulators that have a tighter mode confinement, compact footprint, ultra-high bandwidth, and low modulating voltages. However, lithium-niobate suffers from difficult microstructuring in comparison to silicon-based materials, since it can have an etch resistance greater than many metal-based hard masks. To overcome this challenge, a hybrid material system combining the electro-optic properties of TFLN with the ultra-low propagation loss of silicon nitride has been developed. In this work, we demonstrate an integrated hybrid phase modulator, based on a silicon-nitride strip loaded waveguide on a TFLN material platform, which provides tight optical mode confinement, without the need to etch lithium-niobate. As a result, the drive electrodes can be placed closer to the optical waveguide thereby resulting in a strong RF and optical mode overlap. A 2.4 cm long phase modulator and Mach-Zehnder modulator with a demonstrated Vπ of 1.5 V and 0.875 V, respectively in DC are presented along with other candidate and demonstrated devices, such as multimode interference coupler, micro-ring, and racetrack resonator.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 February 2020
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 11286, Optical Interconnects XX, 112860U (28 February 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2542458
Show Author Affiliations
Abu Naim R. Ahmed, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Shouyuan Shi, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Sean Nelan, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Andrew J. Mercante, Phase Sensitive Innovations (United States)
Peng Yao, Phase Sensitive Innovations (United States)
Dennis W. Prather, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Phase Sensitive Innovations (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11286:
Optical Interconnects XX
Henning Schröder; Ray T. Chen, Editor(s)

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