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Opt Express. 2010 Feb 15;18(4):3582-91. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.003582.

Ultrashort free-carrier lifetime in low-loss silicon nanowaveguides.

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School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


We demonstrate reduction of the free-carrier lifetime in a silicon nanowaveguide from 3 ns to 12.2 ps by applying a reverse bias across an integrated p-i-n diode. This observation represents the shortest free-carrier lifetime demonstrated to date in silicon waveguides. Importantly, the presence of the p-i-n structure does not measurably increase the propagation loss of the waveguide. We derive a figure of merit demonstrating equal dependency of the nonlinear phase shift on free-carrier lifetime and linear propagation loss.

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