High-speed, low voltage, miniature electro-optic modulators based on hybrid photonic-crystal/polymer/sol-gel technology

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
9030 S. Rita Road, Ste 120, Tucson, AZ, 85747
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Jiafu Wang
Optical Engineer
(520) 626-0469
Business Contact:
James Fountain
Business Manager
(520) 250-4405
Research Institution:
University of Arizona
Sherry L Esham
PO BOX 3308
888 N. Euclid Ave, Ste510
Tucson, AZ, 85722
(520) 626-6000
Nonprofit college or university
The primary objective of the proposed research program is to realize a miniature, high-speed, low voltage hybrid photonic crystal waveguide modulator based on state-of-the-art electro-optic polymers with electro-optic coefficients on the order of 200pm/V as well as innovative poling, leading edge silicon photonics and EO polymer infiltration techniques. Phase I work has demonstrated the viability of several design approaches including both silicon photonic based approaches such nanoslot modulators, photonic crystal waveguide modulators, and hybrid nanoslot/photonic crystal waveguide modulators, as well as all polymer photonic crystal modulators that take advantage newly developed nanoimprint processing techniques. The first year of the program will be spent optimizing designs and fabricating miniature chip modulators, while the second year will focus on selecting the best approaches and applying both standard and innovative packaging techniques to obtain a packaged miniature modulator, in particular lowering coupling losses. Existing collaborations with electron beam lithography facilities will be leveraged to obtain rapid turnaround of chip designs. Expertise at the University of Arizona and the University of Washington in optical design, waveguide fabrication, electro-optic polymer synthesis, electro-optic polymer poling, silicon nanoslot fabrication, modulator characterization and other areas will be accessed through subcontracts and consulting relationships. BENEFIT: The basic problem of providing a miniature, low-loss, low voltage EO modulator suitable for both advanced communications infrastructure applications and Air Force applications has yet to be solved. The availability of such a modulator would have an enormous impact on avionics systems by allowing for high bit rate optically based systems that would increase performance, reduce weight, increase stealth and eliminate electromagnetic interference effects. Broad applications in the communications segment include EO modulators for data server farm networks, short reach 40 Gbps links, WDM-PON access networks, reconfigurable optical interconnects, wireless-to-optical systems and high speed optical switches, among others. New hybrid device architectures are envisioned that integrate directly with other silicon photonic devices, leading to even lower cost devices that will become pervasive throughout future telecommunications networks.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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