We propose a U-shaped pn junction in a silicon-on-insulator microdisk resonator to effectively double the junction–mode overlap in the state-of-the-art, vertical pn junction microdisk electro-optical (EO) modulators. The U-shaped pn junction promotes the maximum overlap between the junction depletion zone and the whispering gallery optical mode in the microdisk. By fully depleting the p region of the npn-sequenced U-junction, the capacitance is reduced below 3 fF, which significantly improves the speed and power performance. In this work, we implement the high-efficiency, depleted U-junction design to maximize the operating bandwidth of EO modulators, EO logic elements, EO 2 × 2 switches for wavelength-division cross-connects, 2 × 2 reconfigurable optical add–drop multiplexers, optical-to-electrical-to-optical (OEO) repeaters-with-gain, OEO wavelength converters, and 2 × 2 optical–optical logic gates. These devices all operate in the 7.6-to-50 GHz bandwidth range with ultralow energy consumption between 0.4 and 9.8 fJ/bit. By using CMOS-compatible materials and fabrication-feasible design dimensions, our proposed high-performance devices offer a promising potential in next-generation, high-volume electro-optical communications and computing circuits.

Optics Express
Department of Electronics

Gostimirovic, D. (Dusan), Leonardis, F.D.E. (Francesco D.E.), Soref, R. (Richard), Passaro, V.M.N. (Vittorio M.N.), & Ye, W.N. (2020). Ultrafast electro-optical disk modulators for logic, communications, optical repeaters, and wavelength converters. Optics Express, 28(17), 24874–24888. doi:10.1364/OE.400716