Abstract

This paper reports the simulation of the direct current (dc), transient, and optical characteristics of low-loss single-mode optical phase modulators based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) material. The devices operate by injecting free carriers to change the refractive index in the guiding region and have been modeled using the two-dimensional (2-D) device simulation package SILVACO and the optical simulator BeamPROP to determine their electrical and optical performance, respectively. These simulators have been employed to optimize the overlap between the injected free carriers in the intrinsic region and the propagating optical mode. Attention has been paid to both the steady state and transient properties of the device. In order to produce quantitative results, a particular p-i-n device geometry has been employed in the study, but the trends in the results are sufficiently general to be of help in the design of many modulator geometries. The specific example devices used are designed to support a single optical guided mode and are of approximately 1 µm in cross-sectional dimensions. The modeling results predict that the transient performance of the device is affected significantly by the contact width and the rib doping depth. Results presented encompass Gaussian and constant doping profiles in the n+ regions. The doping profile of the contacts has a tremendous effect on both the dc and transient performances. Phase modulators with drive currents as low as 0.5 mA and transient rise times of 0.3 ns and fall times of 0.12 ns are predicted. Following from these results,a realistic doping profile is proposed that surpasses the electrical results of the Gaussian and most of the constant doping profiles. The improvements in electrical device characteristics are at the expense of a slightly increased optical absorption loss. An alternative switching technique is also presented that could further improve the device speed.

© 2004 IEEE

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  1. SILVACO International, Santa Clara, CA,
  2. A. G. Rickman, G. T. Reed and F. Namavar, "Silicon-on-insulator optical rib waveguide loss and mode characteristics", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 12, pp. 1771-1776, Oct. 1994.
  3. A. G. Rickman and G. T. Reed, "Silicon-on-insulator optical rib waveguides: Low mode characteristics, bends and y-junctions", Inst. Elect. Eng. Proc. Optoelectronics, vol. 141, pp. 391-393, 1994.
  4. J. Schmidtchen, A. Splett, B. Schuppert and K. Petermann, "Low-loss single-mode optical waveguides with large cross section in silicon-on-insulator", Electron. Lett., vol. 27, pp. 1486-1487, 1991.
  5. T. W. Ang, P. D. Hewitt, A. Vonsovici, G. T. Reed, A. G. R. Evans, P. R. Routley, T. Blackburn and M. R. Josey, "Integrated optics in unibond for greater flexibility", in Proc. Electrochemical Soc., vol. 99, 1999, pp. 353 -360.
  6. R. A. Soref and J. P. Lorenzo, "All-silicon active and passive guided-wave components for lambda = 1.3 µm and 1.6 µm", IEEE J. Quantum Electron. , vol. QE-22, pp. 873-879, June 1986.
  7. P. D. Hewitt and G. T. Reed, "Improving the response of optical phase modulators in SOI by computer simulation", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 18, pp. 443-450, Mar. 2000.
  8. C. K. Tang and G. T. Reed, "Highly efficient optical phase modulator in SOI waveguides", Electron. Lett., vol. 31, pp. 451-452, Mar. 1995.
  9. A. Vonsovici and A. Koster, "Numerical simulation of a silicon-on-insulator waveguide structure for phase modulation at 1.3 µ m", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 17, pp. 1-7, Jan. 1999.
  10. R. A. Soref and B. R. Bennett, "Kramers-Kronig analysis of E-O switching in silicon", SPIE Integrated Opt. Circuit Eng., vol. 704, pp. 32-37, 1986.
  11. R. A. Soref and B. R. Bennett, "Electrooptical effects in silicon", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. QE-23, pp. 123-129, Jan. 1987 .
  12. R. A. Soref, J. Schmidtchen and K. Petermann, "Large single-mode rib waveguides in GeSi-Si and Si-on-SiO2", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 27, pp. 1971-1974, Aug. 1991.
  13. C. K. Tang, G. T. Reed, A. J. Walton and A. G. Rickman, "Low-loss, single-mode, optical phase modulator in SIMOX material", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 12, pp. 1394-1400, Aug. 1994.
  14. C. E. Png, G. Masanovic and G. T. Reed, "Coupling to 1 µm silicon modulators", Proc. SPIE Photonics West, vol. 4654, pp. 62-69, 2002.
  15. A. Cutolo, M. Iodice, P. Spirito and L. Zeni, "Silicon electro-optic modulator based on a three terminal device integrated in a low-loss single-mode SOI waveguide", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 15, pp. 505-518, Mar. 1997.
  16. BeamPROP, Rsoft, Inc., "Research Software", Ossining, NY,
  17. A. Sakai, T. Fukazawa and T. Baba, "Low loss ultra-small branches in a silicon photonic wire waveguide", IEICE Trans. Electron., vol. E85-C, pp. 1033-1038, 2002 .
  18. K. K. Lee, D. R. Lim, H. Luan, A. Agarwal, J. Foresi and L. C. Kimerling, "Effect of size and roughness on light transmission in aSi/SiO2 waveguide: Experiments and model", Appl. Phy. Lett., vol. 77, pp. 1617-1619, 2000.
  19. R. Spickermann, N. Dagli and M. G. Peters, "GaAs/AlGaAs electro-optic modulator with bandwidth > 40 GHz", Electron. Lett., vol. 31, pp. 915-916, 1995.

J. Lightwave Technol. (5)

C. K. Tang, G. T. Reed, A. J. Walton and A. G. Rickman, "Low-loss, single-mode, optical phase modulator in SIMOX material", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 12, pp. 1394-1400, Aug. 1994.

A. Cutolo, M. Iodice, P. Spirito and L. Zeni, "Silicon electro-optic modulator based on a three terminal device integrated in a low-loss single-mode SOI waveguide", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 15, pp. 505-518, Mar. 1997.

A. G. Rickman, G. T. Reed and F. Namavar, "Silicon-on-insulator optical rib waveguide loss and mode characteristics", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 12, pp. 1771-1776, Oct. 1994.

P. D. Hewitt and G. T. Reed, "Improving the response of optical phase modulators in SOI by computer simulation", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 18, pp. 443-450, Mar. 2000.

A. Vonsovici and A. Koster, "Numerical simulation of a silicon-on-insulator waveguide structure for phase modulation at 1.3 µ m", J. Lightwave Technol., vol. 17, pp. 1-7, Jan. 1999.

Other (14)

A. G. Rickman and G. T. Reed, "Silicon-on-insulator optical rib waveguides: Low mode characteristics, bends and y-junctions", Inst. Elect. Eng. Proc. Optoelectronics, vol. 141, pp. 391-393, 1994.

J. Schmidtchen, A. Splett, B. Schuppert and K. Petermann, "Low-loss single-mode optical waveguides with large cross section in silicon-on-insulator", Electron. Lett., vol. 27, pp. 1486-1487, 1991.

T. W. Ang, P. D. Hewitt, A. Vonsovici, G. T. Reed, A. G. R. Evans, P. R. Routley, T. Blackburn and M. R. Josey, "Integrated optics in unibond for greater flexibility", in Proc. Electrochemical Soc., vol. 99, 1999, pp. 353 -360.

R. A. Soref and J. P. Lorenzo, "All-silicon active and passive guided-wave components for lambda = 1.3 µm and 1.6 µm", IEEE J. Quantum Electron. , vol. QE-22, pp. 873-879, June 1986.

C. K. Tang and G. T. Reed, "Highly efficient optical phase modulator in SOI waveguides", Electron. Lett., vol. 31, pp. 451-452, Mar. 1995.

BeamPROP, Rsoft, Inc., "Research Software", Ossining, NY,

A. Sakai, T. Fukazawa and T. Baba, "Low loss ultra-small branches in a silicon photonic wire waveguide", IEICE Trans. Electron., vol. E85-C, pp. 1033-1038, 2002 .

K. K. Lee, D. R. Lim, H. Luan, A. Agarwal, J. Foresi and L. C. Kimerling, "Effect of size and roughness on light transmission in aSi/SiO2 waveguide: Experiments and model", Appl. Phy. Lett., vol. 77, pp. 1617-1619, 2000.

R. Spickermann, N. Dagli and M. G. Peters, "GaAs/AlGaAs electro-optic modulator with bandwidth > 40 GHz", Electron. Lett., vol. 31, pp. 915-916, 1995.

SILVACO International, Santa Clara, CA,

C. E. Png, G. Masanovic and G. T. Reed, "Coupling to 1 µm silicon modulators", Proc. SPIE Photonics West, vol. 4654, pp. 62-69, 2002.

R. A. Soref and B. R. Bennett, "Kramers-Kronig analysis of E-O switching in silicon", SPIE Integrated Opt. Circuit Eng., vol. 704, pp. 32-37, 1986.

R. A. Soref and B. R. Bennett, "Electrooptical effects in silicon", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. QE-23, pp. 123-129, Jan. 1987 .

R. A. Soref, J. Schmidtchen and K. Petermann, "Large single-mode rib waveguides in GeSi-Si and Si-on-SiO2", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 27, pp. 1971-1974, Aug. 1991.

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