In this work, we demonstrate the first stress-optic modulator in a silicon nitride-based waveguide platform (TriPleX) in the telecommunication C-band. In our stress-optic phase modulator the refractive index of the waveguiding materials is controlled by the stress-optic effect induced by actuating a 2 μm thick PZT layer on top of the TriPleX waveguide geometry. The efficiency of the modulator is optimized by, amongst others, focusing the applied stress in the waveguide core region through a local increase of the top cladding. Using a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, we measured a half-wave voltage, Vπ, at 34 V at a wavelength of 1550 nm using a modulator with a total length of 14.8 mm. The measured static power consumption of our stress-optic modulator is in the μW-region as it is only determined by small leakage currents (< 0.1 μA), while the dynamic power consumption at a rise time of 1 ms (1 kHz excitation) is less than 4 mW per modulator. The stress optical modulator goes with an excess loss of 0.01 dB per modulator only. This is in line with the typical low loss characteristics of TriPleX waveguides, being < 0.1 dB/cm at a wavelength of 1550 nm. These specifications make stress-optic modulators an excellent choice for next generation optical beam forming networks with a large number of actuators in silicon photonics in general and in the TriPleX platform in particular.
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Jörn P. Epping ; Denys Marchenko ; Arne Leinse ; Richard Mateman ; Marcel Hoekman, et al.
Ultra-low-power stress-optics modulator for microwave photonics
", Proc. SPIE 10106, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXI, 101060F (February 16, 2017); doi:10.1117/12.2266170; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2266170