Electric-field drive optical modulators using a Si ring resonator were fabricated on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. The fabricated resonators consisted of Si waveguides with width and thickness of 1.0 and 0.3 μm, respectively. In order to induce the linear electro-optic (EO) effect in the Si core layer, the strain was applied by covering the layer with Si 3N4 film (0.26 μm thick) deposited by low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) at 750 °C. The vertical electric-field was applied to the Si waveguide through the top and bottom cladding layers, and the optical output from the drop port at the resonance wavelength was measured. At a wavelength of 1501.6 nm, the optical modulation of 33% was obtained at 200V (electric-field at the silicon surface 3 × 105 V/cm, nearly the breakdown field). The resonance wavelength was shifted toward the short wavelength side by applying both positive and negative voltages, this shift was explained by carrier concentration modulation. The linear EO effect in the Si core layer was not observed, presumably because the strain in the Si core layer was too small.
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