CEA-Leti manages the European HELIOS project that accentuates expedite commercialization of silicon photonics. It has launched a 40 Gbit/s optical modulator in silicon, developed by the HELIOS Project members.
The modulator has a record extinction ratio of 10dB. An ultra-high speed optical modulator backed by slow light propagation has advanced this revolutionary technique. The condition where the movement of light is slow in modulator than in air or a vacuum is called slow light propagation.
A high efficiency silicon electro-optical modulator device measuring 500 Aµm and capable of modulation rate capabilities up to 40 Gbit/s has been achieved through the integrated manifestation of slow light propagation properties in a nanostructured 1D periodic waveguide, along with a high speed semiconductor pn diode. In addition, a dual-drive modulation scheme will allow the incorporation of developed optical modulator with electronic BiCMOS logic circuitry that contributes to a remarkable development. As a result, variance in size and power requirements between advanced CMOS-electronics and current silicon optical modulators will be optimized.
Developed through a CMOS-compatible process, the 3252 µ device was achieved through a mutual partnership of the Silicon Photonics Group at the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey (UK) with the Valencia Nanophotonics Technology Center at Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain).
HELIOS partners have published these results in Optics Express, which were also unveiled at the esteemed post-deadline session at the 8th International Conference on Group IV Photonics in London, between September 14th and 16th 2011.