42.7 Gbit/s electro-optic modulator in silicon technology
CMOS-compatible optical modulators are key components for future silicon-based photonic transceivers. However, achieving low modulation voltage and high speed operation still remains a challenge. As a possible solution, the silicon-organic hybrid (SOH) platform has been proposed. In the SOH approach the optical signal is guided by a silicon waveguide while the electro-optic effect is provided by an organic cladding with a high χ(2)-nonlinearity. In these modulators the optical nonlinear region needs to be connected to the modulating electrical source. This requires electrodes, which are both optically transparent and electrically highly conductive. To this end we introduce a highly conductive electron accumulation layer which is induced by an external DC “gate” voltage. As opposed to doping, the electron mobility is not impaired by impurity scattering. This way we demonstrate for the first time data encoding with an SOH electro-optic modulator. Using a first-generation device at a data-rate of 42.7 Gbit/s, widely open eye diagrams were recorded. The measured frequency response suggests that significantly larger data rates are feasible.