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Broadband All-Optical Modulation in Hydrogenated-Amorphous Silicon Waveguides

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Executive Summary

the authors demonstrate broadband all-optical modulation in low loss hydrogenated-amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) waveguides. Significant modulation (~3 dB) occurs with a device of only 15 ?gm without the need for cavity interference effects in stark contrast to an identical crystalline silicon waveguide. the authors attribute the enhanced modulation to the significantly larger free-carrier absorption effect of a-Si:H, estimated here to be ?O?P = 1.63?Q10?O16?Q?ON cm?O1. In addition, the authors measured the modulation time to be only ?Rc ~400 ps, which is comparable to the recombination rate measured in sub-micron crystalline silicon waveguides, illustrating the strong dominance of surface recombination in similar sized (460 nm x 250 nm) a-Si:H waveguides.

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