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25 February 2010 Ultrafast compact silicon-based ring resonator modulators using metal-insulator switching of vanadium dioxide
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We present an optical modulator based on a silicon ring resonator coated with vanadium-dioxide (VO2) motivated by the need for compact silicon-compatible optical switches operating at THz speeds. VO2 is a functional oxide undergoing metal-insulator transition (MIT) near 67°C, with huge changes in electrical resistivity and near-infrared transmission. The MIT can be induced thermally, optically (by ultra-fast laser excitation in less than 100 fs), and possibly with electric field. VO2 is easily deposited on silicon and its ultrafast switching properties in the near-infrared can be used to tune the effective index of ring resonators in the telecommunication frequencies instead of depending on the weak electro-optic properties of silicon. The VO2-silicon hybrid ring resonator is expected to operate at speeds up to 10 THz at low Q-factor and with shorter cavity lifetimes, thus enabling compact, faster, more robust devices. We have made ring resonator structures on SOI substrates with rings varying in diameter from 3-10 μm coupled to 5 mm-long nanotapered waveguides at separations of 200 nm. Rings were coated with 80 nm of VO2 by pulsed laser deposition. As proof-of-concept, by switching the VO2 top layer thermally, we were able to modulate the resonance frequency of the ring to match with the predictions from our FDTD simulations.
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Joyeeta Nag, Judson D. Ryckman, Michael T. Hertkorn, Bo K. Choi, Richard F. Haglund Jr., and Sharon M. Weiss "Ultrafast compact silicon-based ring resonator modulators using metal-insulator switching of vanadium dioxide", Proc. SPIE 7597, Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XVIII, 759710 (25 February 2010);


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