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Proceedings Paper

Ultrafast modulators based on nonlinear photonic crystal waveguides
Author(s): Zhifu Liu; Jianheng Li; Yongming Tu; Seng-Tiong Ho; Bruce W. Wessels
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Paper Abstract

Nonlinear photonic crystal (PhC) waveguides are being developed for ultrafast modulators. To enable phase velocity matching we have investigated one- and two-dimensional structures. Photonic crystal (PhC) waveguides based on epitaxial barium titanate (BTO) thin film in a Si3N4/BTO/MgO multilayer structure were fabricated by electron beam lithography or focused ion beam (FIB) milling. For both one- and two-dimensional PhCs, simulation shows that sufficient refractive index contrast is achieved to form a stop band. For one-dimensional Bragg reflector, we measured its slow light properties and the group refractive index of optical wave. For a millimeter long waveguide a 27 nm wide stop band was obtained at 1550 nm. A slowing of the light was observed, the group refractive indices at the mid band gap and at the band edges were estimated to be between 8.0 and 12 for the transverse electric (TE) mode, and 6.9 and 13 for the transverse magnetic (TM) mode. For TE optical modes, the enhancement factor of EO coefficient ranges from 7 to 13, and for the TM mode, the factor ranges from 5.9 to 15. Measurements indicate that near velocity phase matching can be realized. Upon realizing the phase velocity matching condition, devices with a small foot print with bandwidths at 490 GHz can be attained. Two-dimensional PhC crystal with a hexagonal lattice was also investigated. The PhCs were fabricated from epitaxial BTO thin film multilayers using focused ion beam milling. The PhCs are based on BTO slab waveguide and air hole arrays defined within Si3N4 and BTO thin films. A refractive index contrast of 0.4 between the barium titanate thin film multilayers and the air holes enables strong light confinement. For the TE optical mode, the hexagonal photonic crystal lattice with a diameter of 155 nm and a lattice constant of 740 nm yields a photonic bandgap over the wavelength range from 1525 to 1575 nm. The transmission spectrum of the PhC waveguide exhibits stronger Fabry Perot resonance compared to that of conventional waveguide. Measured transmission spectra show a bandgap in the ΓM direction in the reciprocal lattice that is in agreement with the simulated results using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. Compared to polarization intensity EO modulator with a half-wave voltage length product of 4.7 V•mm. The PhC based EO modulator has a factor of 6.6 improvement in the figure of merit performance. The thin film PhC waveguide devices show considerable potential for ultra-wide bandwidth electro-optic modulators as well as tunable optical filters and switches.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7949, Advances in Slow and Fast Light IV, 794905 (12 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880776
Show Author Affiliations
Zhifu Liu, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Jianheng Li, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Yongming Tu, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Seng-Tiong Ho, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Bruce W. Wessels, Northwestern Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7949:
Advances in Slow and Fast Light IV
Selim M. Shahriar; Philip R. Hemmer, Editor(s)

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