Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Clear predictions

25.04.2014

Computer modeling is assisting the design of optical modulators with low losses to improve optical communications

Modulators are key components within optical fiber networks and serve to transfer information from an electrical current to a signal suitable for optical fibers. They function by turning a light beam on and off quickly and the faster they can do this, the more data that can be transmitted.


The two plots show the distribution of electrical charges in different designs of modulator. Compared to a previous design (top), the modulator improved by computer modeling (bottom) contains fewer free electrical charges, as depicted by lighter shades of blue (positive charge) and yellow (negative charge).

Copyright : 2014 A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing

An increase in data traffic creates a need for a reduction in the cost and size of optical components. An improved low-loss design for modulators, suitable for silicon computer chips, has been developed by Soon Thor Lim and colleagues from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing, the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics and collaborators from Fujikura Ltd.

Existing optical modulators are based on lithium niobate, a material that is expensive and unsuitable for silicon chips. While silicon offers an inexpensive alternative, it can only be used with the addition of other elements that can create positive and negative movable electrical charges. Modulation requires the movable charges to be channeled in and out of the device by an alternating electrical voltage, which controls both the speed of light through the chip and the data rate. Light that passes through this region and crosses light that passes through a neutral silicon region creates interference effects in the optical beam that switches the light on and off.

Previous modulator designs contained charged regions that were relatively large, with the drawback that they increased light absorption in the chip. However, in the team’s proposed design, this area is reduced so that less of the laser beam passes through the charged region (see image).

After computer modeling the performance of the modulator, the team fabricated their device on a silicon chip that has light channels only 220 nanometers high and 550 nanometers wide. Compared to designs with large charged areas, these modulators reduced optical losses by up to 28 per cent and operated at faster speeds of 10 gigabits per second.

“Our device has a speed and optical losses comparable to existing technology such as lithium niobate,” says Lim. “One reason for this high performance is because we used highly accurate computer codes developed in-house.”

Successfully demonstrating the device also highlights how modeling software can reduce the required number of experiments, Lim adds. “Simulation and analysis helps to visualize the physical behavior of these cutting-edge optical devices. This can identify potential problems and circumvent the need for costly multiple design iterations ultimately accelerating the speed to market.”

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of High Performance Computing and the Institute of Microelectronics 

Journal information

Goi, K., Ogawa, K., Tan, Y. T., Dixit, V., Lim, S. T. et al. Silicon Mach–Zehnder modulator using low-loss phase shifter with bottom PN junction formed by restricted-depth doping. IEICE Electronics Express 10, 20130552 (2013).

A*STAR Research | Research SEA News
Further information:
http://www.a-star.edu.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

Further reports about: A*STAR Computing Microelectronics Performance Science fiber nanometers networks reduction voltage

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics
23.04.2018 | Boston University College of Engineering

nachricht Researchers achieve HD video streaming at 10,000 times lower power
20.04.2018 | University of Washington

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>