20 February 2017 Gbit/s-operation of graphene electro-absorption modulators in a passive polymer waveguide platform for data and telecommunications
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Abstract
Graphene with its high carrier mobility as well as its tunable light absorption is an attractive active material for highspeed electro-absorption modulators (EAMs). Large-area CVD-grown graphene monolayers can be transferred onto arbitrary substrates to add active optoelectronic properties to intrinsically passive photonic integration platforms. In this work, we present graphene-based EAMs integrated in passive polymer waveguides. To facilitate modulation frequencies in the GHz range, a 50 Ω termination resistor as well as a DC blocking capacitor are integrated with graphene EAMs for the first time. Large signal data transmission experiments were carried out across the O, C and L optical communications bands. The fastest devices exhibit a 3-dB bandwidth of more than 4 GHz. Our analytical model of the modulation response for the graphene-based EAMs is in good agreement with the measurement results. It predicts that bandwidths greater than 50 GHz are possible with future device iterations. Owing to the absorption properties of the graphene layers, the devices are expected to be functional at smaller wavelengths of interest for optical interconnects and data-communications as well, offering a novel flexibility for the integration of high-speed functionalities in optoelectronic integrated circuits. Our work is the first step towards an Active Optical Printed Circuit Board, hiding the optics completely inside the board and thus removing entry barriers in manufacturing. We believe this will lead to the same success as observed in Active Optical Cables for short range optically wired connections.
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M. Kleinert, P. Reinke, H.-G. Bach, W. Brinker, C. Zawadzki, A. Dietrich, D. de Felipe, N. Keil, M. Schell, "Gbit/s-operation of graphene electro-absorption modulators in a passive polymer waveguide platform for data and telecommunications", Proc. SPIE 10107, Smart Photonic and Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits XIX, 101070P (20 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2250131; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250131
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