Abstract

We demonstrate the first (to the best of our knowledge) depletion-mode carrier-plasma optical modulator fabricated in a standard advanced complementary metal–oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) logic process (45 nm node SOI CMOS) with no process modifications. The zero-change CMOS photonics approach enables this device to be monolithically integrated into state-of-the-art microprocessors and advanced electronics. Because these processes support lateral p-n junctions but not efficient ridge waveguides, we accommodate these constraints with a new type of resonant modulator. It is based on a hybrid microring/disk cavity formed entirely in the sub-90 nm thick monocrystalline silicon transistor body layer. Electrical contact of both polarities is made along the inner radius of the multimode ring cavity via an array of silicon spokes. The spokes connect to p and n regions formed using transistor well implants, which form radially extending lateral junctions that provide index modulation. We show 5 Gbps data modulation at 1265 nm wavelength with 5.2 dB extinction ratio and an estimated 40fJ/bit energy consumption. Broad thermal tuning is demonstrated across 3.2 THz (18 nm) with an efficiency of 291GHz/mW. A single postprocessing step to remove the silicon handle wafer was necessary to support low-loss optical confinement in the device layer. This modulator is an important step toward monolithically integrated CMOS photonic interconnects.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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