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Authors: A. Rahim, A. Hermans, B. Wohlfeil, D. Petousi, B. Kuyken, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets
Title: Taking Silicon Photonics Modulators to a Higher Performance Level: State of the Art and A Review of New Technologies
Format: International Journal
Publication date: 4/2021
Journal/Conference/Book: Advanced Photonics (invited)
Editor/Publisher: SPIE, 
Volume(Issue): 3(2) p. 024003-1 to 024003-23
DOI: 10.1117/1.AP.3.2.024003
Citations: 193 ( - last update: 21/7/2024)
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Optical links are cranking to higher and higher transmission speeds while shrinking to shorter and shorter ranges where optical links are envisaged even at the chip-scale. The scaling in data speed and span of the optical links demands modulators to be performant and cost-effective at the same time. Silicon photonics, a photonic integrated circuit technology that leverages the fabrication sophistication of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, is ideally positioned to deliver the performance, price and manufacturing volume for the high-speed modulators of future optical communication links. Silicon photonics has relied on the plasma dispersion effect, either in injection, depletion, or accumulation mode, to demonstrate efficient high-speed modulators. The performance of plasma dispersion modulators is nearing its performance ceiling, which is below the performance demands from the next generation of optical links. As a result, recent years have seen a paradigm shift where the integration of a variety of electro-refractive and electro-absorptive materials is taking the performance of these silicon photonics modulators to a whole new level. The focus of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of contemporary (i.e., plasma dispersion modulators) and new modulator implementations that involve the integration of novel materials with silicon

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