Publication # 403

403. R. M. Audet, E. H. Edwards, P. Wahl, and D. A. B. Miller, “Investigation of limits to the optical performance of asymmetric Fabry-Perot electroabsorption modulators,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 48, 198 – 209 (2012)

We have investigated the suitability of surface-normal asymmetric Fabry-Perot electroabsorption modulators for short-distance optical interconnections between silicon chips. These modulators should be made as small as possible to minimize device capacitance; however, size-dependent optical properties impose constraints on the dimensions. We have thus performed simulations that demonstrate how the optical performance of the modulators depends on both the spot size of the incident beam and the dimensions of the device. We also discuss the tolerance to non-idealities such as surface roughness and beam misalignment. The particular modulators considered here are structures based upon the quantum-confined Stark
effect in Ge/GeSi quantum wells. We present device designs that have predicted extinction ratios greater than 7 dB and switching energies as low as 10 fF/bit, which suggests that these siliconcompatible devices can enable high interconnect bandwidths without the need for wavelength division multiplexing.

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