Nanophotonic Pockels modulators on a silicon nitride platform

Koen Alexander, John P. George, Jochem Verbist, Kristiaan Neyts, Bart Kuyken, Dries Van Thourhout and Jeroen Beeckman

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Received: 20th April 18

Silicon nitride (SiN) is emerging as a competitive platform for CMOS-compatible integrated photonics. Compared to silicon-on-insulator (SOI), it offers a broader transparency range, a lower propagation loss, significantly lower nonlinear losses, and a much smaller thermo-optic coefficient . However, active devices such as modulators are scarce and still lack in performance. Ideally, such a modulator should have a high bandwidth, good modulation efficiency, low loss, and cover a wide wavelength range. Here, we demonstrate the first electro-optic modulators based on ferroelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) films on SiN, in both the O- and the C-band. Bias-free operation, bandwidths beyond 33 GHz and data rates of 40 Gbps are shown, as well as low propagation losses (α ≈ 1 dB/cm). A VπL ≈ 3.2 Vcm is measured. Simulations indicate that values below 1 Vcm are achievable. This approach offers a much-anticipated route towards high-performance phase modulators on SiN.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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