High speed silicon electro-optical modulators enhanced via slow light propagation

Autores UPV
Revista Optics Express


While current optical communication networks efficiently carry and process huge amounts of digital information over large and medium distances, silicon photonics technology has the capacity to meet the ceaselessly increasing demand for bandwidth via energy efficient, inexpensive and mass producible short range optical interconnects. In this context, handling electrical-to-optical data conversion through compact and high speed electro-optical modulators is of paramount importance. To tackle these challenges, we combine the attractive properties of slow light propagation in a nanostructured periodic waveguide together with a high speed semiconductor pn diode, and demonstrate a highly efficient and mass manufacturable 500 ¿m-long silicon electro-optical device, exhibiting error free modulation up to 20 Gbit/s. These results, supported by modulation rate capabilities reaching 40 Gbit/s, pave a foreseeable way towards dense, low power and ultra fast integrated networks-on-chip for future chip-scale high performance computing systems. © 2011 Optical Society of America.