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Integrated silicon carbide electro-optic modulator

Powell, Keith and Li, Liwei and Shams-Ansari, Amirhassan and Wang, Jianfu and Meng, Debin and Sinclair, Neil and Deng, Jiangdong and Lončar, Marko and Yi, Xiaoke (2022) Integrated silicon carbide electro-optic modulator. Nature Communications, 13 . Art. No. 1851. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC8983721. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-29448-5.

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Owing to its attractive optical and electronic properties, silicon carbide is an emerging platform for integrated photonics. However an integral component of the platform is missing—an electro-optic modulator, a device which encodes electrical signals onto light. As a non-centrosymmetric crystal, silicon carbide exhibits the Pockels effect, yet a modulator has not been realized since the discovery of this effect more than three decades ago. Here we design, fabricate, and demonstrate a Pockels modulator in silicon carbide. Specifically, we realize a waveguide-integrated, small form-factor, gigahertz-bandwidth modulator that operates using complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-level voltages on a thin film of silicon carbide on insulator. Our device is fabricated using a CMOS foundry compatible fabrication process and features no signal degradation, no presence of photorefractive effects, and stable operation at high optical intensities (913 kW/mm²), allowing for high optical signal-to-noise ratios for modern communications. Our work unites Pockels electro-optics with a CMOS foundry compatible platform in silicon carbide.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle data
Li, Liwei0000-0002-2887-4979
Shams-Ansari, Amirhassan0000-0002-2165-7832
Deng, Jiangdong0000-0001-6590-9600
Lončar, Marko0000-0002-5029-5017
Yi, Xiaoke0000-0003-1477-5504
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 17 June 2021. Accepted 11 March 2022. Published 05 April 2022. We thank S. Desai for discussions on device simulation, C. Lu for discussions on modulator testing, C. Yu for feedback on the manuscript. Device fabrication and characterization were carried out in part at the Harvard University Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), a member of the National Technology Coordinated Infrastructure Network, and the University of Sydney. This work was supported by the Sydney Research Accelerator Fellowship and Harvard University Mobility Scheme. J. W. and D. M. acknowledge the support of Research Training Program Scholarships from the University of Sydney. N. S. acknowledges the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and NSF STC “Center for Integrated Quantum Materials” under Cooperative Agreement No. DMR-1231319. M. L. acknowledges support from the Airforce Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) under grant FA9550-19-1-0376. Contributions. K. P., M. L., and X. Y. conceived the experiment. K. P., L. L., A. S. -A., and J. D. fabricated the devices. J. W. and D. M. performed numerical simulations. K. P., L. L., J. D., and N. S. carried out the device characterization. K. P., N.S., and X. Y. wrote the manuscript with contributions from all authors. M. L. and X. Y. supervised the project. Data availability. Supplementary Information is available in the online version of the paper. Source data are provided with this paper and also available on Zenodo: The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information. Nature Communications thanks Michael (G.) Spencer and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of SydneyUNSPECIFIED
Harvard UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9550-19-1-0376
Subject Keywords:Applied optics; Micro-optics
PubMed Central ID:PMC8983721
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220406-487513846
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Official Citation:Powell, K., Li, L., Shams-Ansari, A. et al. Integrated silicon carbide electro-optic modulator. Nat Commun 13, 1851 (2022).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114174
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:06 Apr 2022 13:36
Last Modified:25 Apr 2022 17:42

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