Abstract

AlGaAs bulk electro-optic Mach–Zehnder modulators with low ${V_\pi }$ are reported. Epilayer design is an npin, which is shown to be equivalent to a pin. Measured ${V_\pi }$ is 1 V for 1 cm long electrode and this result agrees very well with the numerical modeling. Modulator capacitance remains constant and current through the device is negligible over a wide bias range. Lowest bandgap of the material in the active waveguide region is larger than twice the photon energy at 1550 nm, significantly reducing material absorption, including two-photon absorption. Modulator characteristics remain unchanged under coupled input optical powers approaching 160 mW. Low ${V_\pi }$ combined with high optical power handling capability make these devices suitable for analog photonic links.

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