February 21, 2012 — CEA-Leti unveiled a 40Gbit/s optical modulator in silicon with a record extinction ratio of 10dB, developed by the HELIOS Project members.
An ultra-high-speed 325µm2 optical modulator enhanced via slow light propagation has been demonstrated. Slow light propagation is when light travels significantly slower in a modulator than it does through air or in a vacuum. Slow light propagation in a nanostructured 1D periodic waveguide, together with a high-speed semiconductor pn diode, demonstrated a highly efficient 500µm-long silicon electro-optical modulator device with modulation rate capabilities of 40Gbit/s.
Using a dual-drive modulation scheme would enable integration of the developed optical modulator with electronic BiCMOS logic circuitry.
The device, built in a CMOS-compatible process by the CEA-Leti, is the result of a collaboration between the Valencia Nanophotonics Technology Center at Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain) and the Silicon Photonics Group at the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey (UK).
HELIOS partners have unveiled these results in Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 21 and during the 8th International Conference on Group IV Photonics in London, at the post-deadline session.
CEA-Leti is coordinator of the European HELIOS project to accelerate commercialization of silicon photonics. The research aims to bridge the mismatch in size and power requirements between advanced CMOS-electronics and current silicon optical modulators. For more information on HELIOS, visit www.helios-project.eu/.
CEA is a French research and technology organization, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defence and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology and healthcare or photonics. Nanoelectronics and microsystems (MEMS) are at the core of its activities. Visit www.leti.fr.