OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 14 — Jul. 9, 2007
  • pp: 9029–9039

All-optical nano modulator on a silicon chip

Ofer Limon, Arkady Rudnitsky, Zeev Zalevsky, Menachem Nathan, Luca Businaro, Dan Cojoc, and Annamaria Gerardino  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 14, pp. 9029-9039 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1153 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We present an all-optical modulator realized on a silicon chip. The proposed modulator has nano scale dimensions and a high extinction ratio. Its operation principle is based on a spatially non-uniform variation of the absorption of a miniaturized, silicon waveguide - based Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI). The absorption variation is obtained by illuminating the MZI with visible light. Our modulator may be used as an interfacing link between microelectronic processing circuits and optical information transmission links. We provide details on the fabrication and the experimental characterization of the suggested device. Since the operation principle is not based on a high Finesse resonator, the modulator is less sensitive to wavelength changes and its operation rate is not connected to the time required for the optical response to reach steady state but rather to material related effects.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.2090) Optical devices : Electro-optical devices
(250.5300) Optoelectronics : Photonic integrated circuits

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: February 5, 2007
Revised Manuscript: March 20, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: March 20, 2007
Published: July 6, 2007

Ofer Limon, Arkady Rudnitsky, Zeev Zalevsky, Menachem Nathan, Luca Businaro, Dan Cojoc, and Annamaria Gerardino, "All-optical nano modulator on a silicon chip," Opt. Express 15, 9029-9039 (2007)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. C. Luo, J. D. Joannopoulos, and S. Fan, "Nonlinear photonic crystal micro devices for optical integration," Opt. Lett. 28, 637-639 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. E. Yablonovich, "Photonic crystals: semiconductors of light," Sci. Am. 285, 47-55 (2001).
  3. T. F. Krauss, "Planar photonic crystal waveguide devices for integrated optics," Phys. Status Solidi A 197, 688-702 (2003). [CrossRef]
  4. M. Loncar, T. Doll, J. VucּKovicּand A. Scherer, "Design and fabrication of silicon photonic crystal optical waveguides," J. Lightwave Technol 18, 1402-1411 (2000). [CrossRef]
  5. H. W. Tan, H. M. Van Driel, S. L. Schweizer, R. B. Wehrspohn and U. Gösele, "Tuning a 2-D silicon photonic crystal using nonlinear optics," Conf. on Laser and Electro-Optics 2004 Vol. IFD2 (Optical Society of America, Washington DC, 2004).
  6. K. K. Lee, D. R. Lim and L. C. Kimerling, "Fabrication of ultra low-loss Si/SiO2 waveguides by roughness reduction," Opt. Lett. 26, 1888-1890 (2001). [CrossRef]
  7. Y. A. Vlasov and S. J. McNab, "Losses in single-mode silicon-on-insulator strip waveguides and bends," Opt Express 12, 1622-1631 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. R. L. Espinola, J. I. Dadap, Jr. R. M. Osgood, S. J. McNab, and Y. A. Vlasov, "Raman amplification in ultra small silicon-on-insulator wire waveguides," Opt Express 12, 3713-3718 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. Q. Xu, V. R. Almeida and M. Lipson, "Time-resolved study of Raman gain in highly confined silicon-on-insulator waveguides," Opt Express 12, 4437-4442 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. O. Boyraz and B. Jalali, "Demonstration of a silicon Raman laser," Opt Express 12, 5269-5273 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. H. Rong, A. Liu, R. Jones, O. Cohen, D. Hak, R. Nicolaescu, A. Fang and M. Paniccla, "An all-silicon Raman laser," Nature 433, 292-294 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. S. Stepanov and S. Ruschin, "Modulation of light by light in silicon-on-insulator waveguides," Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 5151-5153 (2003). [CrossRef]
  13. A. Liu, R. Jones, L. Liao, D. Samara-Rubio, D. Rubin, O. Cohen, R. Nicolaescu and M. Paniccia, "A high-speed silicon optical modulator based on a metal-oxide-semiconductor capacitor," Nature 427, 615-618 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. D. Samara-Rubio, L. Liao, A. Liu, R. Jones, M. Paniccia, D. Rubin and O. Cohen, "A gigahertz silicon-on-insulator Mach-Zehnder modulator," OSA Proceeding Series 2, 3-5 (2004).
  15. L. Liao, D. Samara-Rubio, M. Morse, A. Liu, D. Hodge, D. Rubin, U. D. Keil and T. Franck, "High speed silicon Mach-Zehnder modulator," Opt Express 13, 3129-3135 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. V. R. Almeida, C. A. Barrios, R. R. Panepucci and M. Lipson, "All-optical control of light on a silicon chip," Nature 431, 1081-1084 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. Q. Xu, B. Schmidt, S. Pradhan and M. Lipson, "Micrometer-scale silicon electro-optic modulator," Nature 435, 325-327 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. H. K. Tsang, C. S Wong, T. K. Liang, I. E. Day, S. W. Roberts, A. Harpin, J. Drake and M. Asghari, "Optical dispersion, two-photon absorption and self-phase modulation in silicon waveguides at 1.5 μm wavelength," Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 416-418 (2002). [CrossRef]
  19. M. Fetterman, C. P. Chao and S. R. Forrest, "Fabrication and analysis of high-contrast InGaAsP-InP Mach-Zehnder modulation for use at 1.55 μm wavelength," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 8, 69-71 (1996). [CrossRef]
  20. O. Leclerc, C. Duchet, P. Brindel, M. Goix, E. Grard, E. Maunand and E. Desurvire. "Polarisation-independent InP push-pull Mach-Zehnder modulation for 20 Gbit/s soliton regeneration," Electron. Lett. 34, 1011-1013 (1998). [CrossRef]
  21. V. Van, T. A. Ibrahim, K. Ritter, P. P. Absil, F. G. Johnson, R. Grover, J. Goldhar and P. T. Ho. "All-optical nonlinear switching in GaAs-AlGaAs microring resonators," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 14, 74-76 (2002). [CrossRef]
  22. C. K. Tang and G. T. Reed, "Highly efficient optical phase modulator in SOI waveguides," Electron. Lett. 31, 451-452 (1995). [CrossRef]
  23. D. Marris-Morini, X. Le Roux, D. Pascal, L. Vivien, E. Cassan, J. M. Fedeli, J. F. Damlencourt, D. Bouville, J. Palomo and S. Laval, "High speed all-silicon optical modulator," J. Lumin.  121, 387-390 (2006). [CrossRef]
  24. D. Marris, E. Cassan and L. Vivien, "Response time analysis of SiGeSi modulation-doped multiple-quantum-well structures for optical modulation," J. Appl. Phys. 96, 6109-6112 (2004). [CrossRef]
  25. S. F. Preble, V. R. Almeida and M. Lipson, "Optically controlled photonic crystal nanocavity in silicon," SPIE 49th Annual Meeting, Proc. SPIE 5511, 10-17 (2004).
  26. R. A. Soref and B. R. Bennett, "Electro-optical effects in silicon," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE- 23, 123-129 (1987). [CrossRef]
  27. R. A. Soref and B. R. Bennet, "Kramers-Kronig analysis of E-O switching in silicon," SPIE Integr. Opt. Circuit Eng. 704, 32-37 (1986).
  28. Z. Zalevsky, A. K. George, F. Luan, G. Bouwmans, P. Dainese, C. Cordeiro and N. July, "Photonic crystal in-fiber devices," Opt. Eng. 44, 125003 (2005). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited