Silicon photonics offer a promising solution to high speed chip-to-chip interconnects implied by the next generation of computing and communication systems. Electro-optical modulators are the key devices enabling data to be imparted onto an optical carrier wave to propagate in silicon photonic links. Modulators that utilize transparent conducting oxides as the electro-optical active layer in hybrid plasmonic waveguides have recently received a lot of attention. However, no study has considered embedding the conducting oxide in hybrid plasmonic ring and disk structures. In this paper, we propose a novel hybrid plasmonic micro-ring modulator employing an indium-tin-oxide (ITO) layer on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform. A pure standard silicon access waveguide is introduced and a detailed discussion of the coupling junction design is presented. Due to its unique electro-optical properties, a unity order change in the refractive index of ITO is attainable and exploited to make a significant shift in the resonance wavelength eliminating the need for high quality factor resonance without sacrificing power consumption. Unlike conventional ring modulators, the proposed modulation mechanism uses the combined effect of changes in both the real and the imaginary parts of the refractive index to control the resonance wavelength and extinction ratio. We comprehensively study the modulator performance and the transmission spectra using FDTD simulations. Optimization of the design leads to a high modulation depth of about 20 dB for an applied voltage of 2V. The design has an estimated total capacitance less than 2 fF.
Aya O. Zaki, Khaled A. Kirah, and Mohamed A. Swillam, "Silicon plasmonic microring modulator using embedded conducting oxides," Proc. SPIE 10107, Smart Photonic and Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits XIX, 101070O (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 20 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253628.
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