Publication # 052

T. H. Wood, C. A. Burrus, D. A. B. Miller, D. S. Chemla, T. C. Damen, A. C. Gossard and W. Wiegmann "High-Speed Optical Modulation with GaAs/GaAlAs Quantum Wells in a p-i-n Diode Structure," Proc. IEEE Int. Electron Devices Meeting, December 1983, Washington, D.C.

A new type of high speed optical modulator is proposed and demonstrated. An electric field is applied perpendicular to GaAs/GaAlAs multiple quantum well layers using a "p-i-n" diode doping structure of 4 um total thickness. The optical absorption edge, which is particularly abrupt because of exciton resonances, shifts to longer wavelengths with increasing field giving almosta factor of 2 reduction in transmission at 857 nm with 8V reverse bias. The shifts are ascribed to changes in carrier confinement energies in the wells. The observed switching time of 2.8 ns is attributed to RC time constant and instrumental limitations only, and fundamental limits may be much faster.

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