The objective of this research is to create a new class of Si-based electroabsorption modulators (EAM) that operate at an unprecedented bandwidth of 80Gb/s. The approach is to use 3D wafer bonding technology to vertically couple light into a nanowire high-index contrast silicon waveguide. A graded base SiGe heterojunction transistor is the baseline electric structure of the modulator, while the free carrier plasma effect is used to generate optical absorption modulation. Intellectual merits: For high capacity fiber-optic systems, a Si-based, monolithically integrated fast EAM is an appealing alternative technology to commercial III-V compound semiconductor based modulators. The proposed research will explore the carrier transport phenomena and its corresponding optical attenuation effect in a SiGe heterojuction transistor, as well as various design trade-offs among modulation depth, signal dispersion, operation speed, power consumption, and local heating effects. The proposed work will design a fully integrated modulator driver circuit using unmodified, silicon fabrication processes.

Broader impacts: An 80Gbps, low-power, and small footprint Si based EAM will be a breakthrough technology in advancing the development of the next generation of broadband fiber-optic networking and lightwave circuits for high-speed computing. There is a strong, synergistic educational and mentoring component for students at all levels. Outreach efforts will broaden participation of under-represented groups and undergraduate students in research programs at both institutions. K-12 outreach activities will be in collaboration with New York New Vision program at RPI, and through the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach (CEEO) at Tufts.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
Application #
1128479
Program Officer
John M. Zavada
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-08-15
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$150,515
Indirect Cost
Name
Tufts University
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Medford
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02155