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Opt Express. 2009 Oct 12;17(21):18571-80. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.018571.

Optical modulation in silicon waveguides via charge state control of deep levels.

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Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L7, Canada.


The control of defect mediated optical absorption at a wavelength of 1550 nm via charge state manipulation is demonstrated using optical absorption measurements of indium doped Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) rib waveguides. These measurements introduce the potential for modulation of waveguide transmission by using the local depletion and injection of free-carriers to change deep-level occupancy. The extinction ratio and modulating speed are simulated for a proposed device structure. A 'normally-off' depletion modulator is described with an extinction coefficient limited to 5 dB/cm and switching speeds in excess of 1 GHz. For a carrier injection modulator a fourfold enhancement in extinction ratio is provided relative to free carrier absorption alone. This significant improvement in performance is achieved with negligible increase in driving power but slightly degraded switching speed.

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