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Opt Express. 2010 Oct 11;18(21):22485-96. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.022485.

Ultrafast all-optical modulator with femtojoule absorbed switching energy in silicon-on-insulator.

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IBM Research GmbH, Zurich Research Laboratory, Säumerstrasse 4, 8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland.


We demonstrate an all-optical switch based on a waveguide-embedded 1D photonic crystal cavity fabricated in silicon-on-insulator technology. Light at the telecom wavelength is modulated at high-speed by control pulses in the near infrared, harnessing the plasma dispersion effect. The actual absorbed switching power required for a 3 dB modulation depth is measured to be as low as 6 fJ. While the switch-on time is on the order of a few picoseconds, the relaxation time is almost 500 ps and limited by the lifetime of the charge carriers.

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