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Published May 24, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Compact silicon photonic waveguide modulator based on the vanadium dioxide metal-insulator phase transition


We have integrated lithographically patterned VO2 thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition with silicon-on-insulator photonic waveguides to demonstrate a compact in-line absorption modulator for use in photonic circuits. Using single-mode waveguides at λ = 1550 nm, we show optical modulation of the guided transverse-electric mode of more than 6.5 dB with 2 dB insertion loss over a 2-µm active device length. Loss is determined for devices fabricated on waveguide ring resonators by measuring the resonator spectral response, and a sharp decrease in resonator quality factor is observed above 70 °C, consistent with switching of VO_2 to its metallic phase. A computational study of device geometry is also presented, and we show that it is possible to more than double the modulation depth with modified device structures.

Additional Information

© 2010 Optical Society of America. Received 23 Mar 2010; revised 29 Apr 2010; accepted 4 May 2010; published 12 May. The authors thank J.P.B. Müller for assistance with waveguide optimization and G.M. Kimball for valuable input on electrical measurements. This work was supported under AFOSR grant FA9550-06-1-0480. We gratefully acknowledge critical support and infrastructure provided by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech. Portions of this work were also performed in facilities sponsored by the Center for Science and Engineering of Materials, an NSF MRSEC. R.M.B. acknowledges support from the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, and I.M.P. acknowledges the support of the NSF Graduate Fellowship.

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Published - Briggs2010p10536Opt_Express.pdf


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