Ultra-compact Optical Modulator Based on Silicon Photonic Crystal Waveguide

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-04-C-0095
Agency Tracking Number: F045-013-0245
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: AF04-T013
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
10435 Burnet Road, Suite 108, Austin, TX, 78758
DUNS: 102861262
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Kevin Wu
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 996-8833
Business Contact
Phone: (512) 996-8833
Email: kenneth.chen@eomegaoptics.com
Research Institution
 University of Texas at Austin-PRC
 Ray T Chen
 10100 Burnet Rd., Bldg. 160, Mail Code R9900
Austin, TX, 78758
 (512) 471-7035
 Nonprofit college or university
Nanophotonics promises to have a revolutionary impact on the landscape of photonics technology. Due to the maturity of sub-micron silicon CMOS technology, nanophotonics on silicon is anticipated to play a critical role in future nano-system integration. In this program, we propose an innovative approach to building ultra-compact silicon Mach-Zehnder(MZ) modulators. The proposed structure consists of carefully designed photonic crystal waveguides(PCW) in conjunction with a metal-oxide-semiconductor(MOS) "capacitor," which utilizes plasma dispersion effect to achieve high-speed modulation. Incorporating the PCW nanostructure provides an unprecedented opportunity to enhance the modulation efficiency of silicon based MZ modulators, and a reduction of electrode length by 100 times is expected. The ultra-short electrode length associated with the highly dispersive PCW nanostructure brings such exclusive advantages as low power consumption, high bandwidth, and potential for high-density integration of modulator arrays, which promises to outperform existing silicon guided-wave devices by at least one order of magnitude. To prove the feasibility of the proposed idea, photonic crystal waveguide based silicon MZ modulators will be designed, fabricated, and characterized in Phase I. The dispersion of the photonic crystal waveguides and the modulation characteristics of the MOS structure will be carefully investigated.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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