Abstract

The observation of the electro-optic effect in strained silicon waveguides has been considered a direct manifestation of an induced χ(2) nonlinearity in the material. In this work, we perform high-frequency measurements on strained silicon racetrack resonators. Strain is controlled by a mechanical deformation of the waveguide. It is shown that any optical modulation vanishes, independent of the applied strain, when the applied voltage varies much faster than the carrier effective lifetime and that the DC modulation is also largely independent of the applied strain. This demonstrates that plasma carrier dispersion is responsible for the observed electro-optic effect. After normalizing out free-carrier effects, our results set an upper limit of (8±3)pm/V to the induced high-speed effective χeff,zzz(2) tensor element at an applied stress of 0.5GPa. This upper limit is about 1 order of magnitude lower than previously reported values for static electro-optic measurements.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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