Mach-Zehnder interference (MZI) construction is broadly exploited to implement optical switches and modulators in the field of integrated optical/photonic technology. Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides have been increasingly developed to implement highly integrated photonic devices and systems. In this work, for the SOI-waveguide MZI-type electro-optic (EO) modulated devices with free-carrier dispersion (FCD) effect, the FCD-induced extra optical absorption (EOA) loss and its negative impact upon the device performance are studied. An intrinsic limitation to this type of device is found to be the tension between the EOA loss and the interaction length for a half-wave modulation. The numerical calculation and professional software simulation show the EOA loss of <1.0dB determines an interaction length of 4-mm. The performance decay processes of both EO switch and modulator due to the modulation-induced EOA loss are modeled. The numerical calculation shows the optical on-chip (OC) loss is 1.0dB and the isolation between two outputs is 21dB for the EO switch, while for the EO modulator the OC loss is 1.0dB and 2.5dB at the off- and on-state, respectively, and the extinction ratio only approaches 20dB. The negative influence of this intrinsic limitation to the bandwidth of EO modulator is also analyzed.

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Optoelectronic Devices and Integration III
Department of Electronics

Sun, D. (DeGui), Abdul-Majid, S. (Sawsan), Hu, Z. (Zhongming), Vandusen, R, Hasan, I. (Imad), Tarr, T.G. (T. Garry), & Hall, T.J. (Trevor J.). (2010). An intrinsic limitation to silicon-on-insulator waveguide Mach-Zehnder interference-based electro-optic devices. Presented at the Optoelectronic Devices and Integration III. doi:10.1117/12.871637