Ultrafast all-optical modulation in Ag/HfO2/Si/HfO2/Ag metal-insulator-semiconductor-insulator-metal (MISIM) nanoring resonators through two-photon absorption photogenerated free-carriers is studied using self-consistent 3-D
finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations. The self-consistent FDTD simulations incorporate the two-photon
absorption, free carrier absorption, and plasma dispersion effects in silicon. The nanorings are aperture coupled to
Ag/HfO2/Si(100nm)/HfO2/Ag MISIM waveguides by 300nm wide and 50nm deep apertures. The effects of pump pulse energy, HfO2 spacer thickness, and device footprint on the modulation characteristics are studied. Nanoring radius is varied between 540nm and 1μm, the HfO2 spacer thickness is varied between 10nm and 20nm, and the pump pulse energy is explored up to 60pJ. Modulation amplitude, switching time, average generated carrier density, and wavelength resonant shift is studied for each of the device configurations. In a compact device footprint of only 1.4μm2, a 13.1dB modulation amplitude was obtained with a switching time of only 2ps using a modest pump pulse energy of 16.0pJ. The larger bandwidth associated with more compact nanorings and thinner spacer layers is shown to result in increased modulation amplitude.