We investigate the potential performance of polymer-based electro-optic (EO) modulators for high-speed systems at 40Gb/s and beyond. General strategies and specific designs are presented to reduce the modulator half-wave drive voltage while maintaining a broadband response. In addition, we consider practical system requirements that may allow the relaxation of certain modulator design parameters to further improve performance. Designs are presented that may enable a 3-dB electrical bandwidth of 30GHz with a single-ended half-wave drive voltage of ∼ 1.6 V for 1.3-µm light assuming an effective EO coefficient of 30 pm/V in the waveguide core.
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