To develop future hybrid photonic/plasmonic integrated nanocircuits, an efficient, ultracompact, ultrafast and low energy consumption modulator is one of the required components. Prof. Volker Sorger from the George Washington University presented a study on a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) based modulator. He showed that a silicon coupled TCO modulator achieves a modulation depth of 5dB and 20dB with a device length of 5um and 20um, respectively. The modulator has a broadband wavelength response (1.2um-2um) and can potentially be operated with high speed and low energy consumption (<100 fJ/bit). The next step is to increase the modulation efficiency and to reduce the device dimension. In the same session, Prof. Min Liu from the University of California, Berkeley (now at UC Riverside) outlined the requirements of an ideal modulator and presented results on graphene based modulators operating at in the telecommunication wavelength range. The intrinsic ultrafast properties of graphene make it an outstanding candidate for integration in silicon photonic or plasmonic modulators. As mentioned by Min Liu, so far no “ideal” modulator has been reported. Nevertheless, both TCO and grapheme based solutions show promise for making an ultracompact modulator for future nanoscale communication systems. We believe that more research in these two directions will be seen in the next few years.
Posted: 10/9/2013 7:43:50 AM by
by Howard Lee
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