Charge state switching of deep levels for low-power optical modulation in silicon waveguides
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We demonstrate a method for the efficient modulation of optical wavelengths around 1550 nm in silicon waveguides. The amplitude of a propagating signal is mediated via control of the charge state of indium centers, rather than using free-carriers alone as in the plasma-dispersion effect. A 1×1 switch formed of an integrated p-i-n junction in an indium-doped silicon on insulator (SOI) waveguide provides 'normally-off' silicon absorption of greater than 7 dB at zero bias. This loss is decreased to 2.8 dB with application of a 6 V applied reverse bias, with a power consumption of less than 1 μW.
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