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A high-speed intersubband modulator based on quantum interference in double quantum wells
KTH, Superseded Departments, Microelectronics and Information Technology, IMIT.
KTH, Superseded Departments, Microelectronics and Information Technology, IMIT.
KTH, Superseded Departments, Microelectronics and Information Technology, IMIT.
2002 (English)In: IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, ISSN 0018-9197, E-ISSN 1558-1713, Vol. 38, no 2, 178-184 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Calculations on a modulator based on quantum interference in AlGaAs/GaAs asymmetric double quantum wells (QWs) are performed. The modulation of the absorption is based on the anti-crossing behavior of the two lowest states in the coupled wells. At anti-crossing, the oscillator strengths of the transitions from these two lowest states to a higher state are changed in opposite directions. The width of the barrier between the wells should be thick enough to allow a large change in oscillator strength with applied field, yet thin enough so that the absorption peaks of the transitions are resolved. The QWs are designed so that one absorption peak has only a small energy shift for the transition used for modulation while the absorption varies rapidly with the applied voltage. A complete structure including a surface plasmon waveguide is proposed enabling calculations of modal absorption. Parameters important for the performance of the modulator are then determined. An extinction ratio of 10 dB at a wavelength of 8.4 mum is predicted for a device length of 18 mum and a peak-to-peak voltage of 0.9 V. The resistance-capacitance-limited 3-dB bandwidth is 130 GHz. The predicted performance compares very favorably with present interband modulators based on the quantum-confined Stark effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 38, no 2, 178-184 p.
Keyword [en]
anti-crossing; intersubband transition; optical modulator; quantum interference; quantum well
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6656DOI: 10.1109/3.980270ISI: 000173483000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-6656DiVA: diva2:11428
Note
QC 20100823Available from: 2006-12-15 Created: 2006-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Photonic Devices and Applications based on Intersubband Transitions and Electromagnetically Induced Transparency
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Photonic Devices and Applications based on Intersubband Transitions and Electromagnetically Induced Transparency
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Although photonic devices have experienced a rapid development lately, there is still room for substantial improvements in performance. From a telecommunications perspective, improvements in speed, size, integration and power consumption are desired. There is also a general interest in photonic devices with new functionalities. Being a key component in fiber-optic systems, high-speed optical modulators often initiate the development towards higher bit-rates. The technology of current state-of-the-art modulators has matured suggesting new paths of development. In this thesis we investigate the potential of modulators based on intersubband (IS) transitions in quantum wells (QWs). Specific QW designs are suggested and complete modulator structures are simulated. IS absorption is also experimentally characterized. Absorption linewidth is critical for IS modulator performance since narrow linewidth implies high bandwidth and/or small driving voltage. High material quality is important, since linewidth is typically limited by well-width fluctuations and interface roughness.

A mid-IR AlGaAs/GaAs-modulator is proposed having a RC-limited bandwidth of 130 GHz and a peak-to-peak voltage of 0.9 V. Experimentally, Stark shift is measured in InAlAs/InAlGaAs/InGaAs step QWs at λ ~ 6 μm predicting that an IS modulator based on this material would have a bandwidth of 90 GHz and a peak-to-peak voltage of 0.9 V. IS absorption at 1.55 μm requires material combinations with high conduction-band offset. Simulations of an InGaAs/InAlAs/AlAsSb-modulator predict a bandwidth of 90 GHz and a peak-to-peak voltage of 2.0 V. Experimental studies of IS absorption in AlN/GaN QWs are presented. IS absorption at 1.5-3.4 μm with linewidth below 100 meV is measured for well widths between 15-54 Å. Subpeaks corresponding to well-width fluctuations on the monolayer scale are identified with linewidths of ~60 meV. Agreement between theoretical calculations and measured spectra is encouraging. Theoretical simulations together with measured absorption linewidths suggest that high performance IS modulators operating at 1.55 μm are realizable.

Photonic devices with new functionalities are addressed by investigating electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) theoretically and considering potential applications based on EIT. Simulations of two-dimensional pulse-propagation based on the Maxwell-Bloch equations are performed with a focus on storing and reading out optical pulses. We explicitly formulate the phase-matching conditions for reading out stored pulses in a new direction and propose a serial-to-parallel converter based on this.

For slow-light devices, e.g. optical buffers, we identify and analyze two main limitations on the medium bandwidth; the frequency dependent absorption and the group velocity dispersion. Since large bandwidth and large delay are contradictory requirements, the delay bandwidth product is considered. Analytical expressions are derived and analyzed and verified by simulations on pulse propagation. Insertion of parameters relevant for semiconductors indicates that development of materials with long coherence times are necessary for realizing optical buffers based on EIT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. xiii, 55 p.
Series
Trita-ICT/MAP, 2006:5
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4246 (URN)978-91-7178-525-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-01-17, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100903Available from: 2006-12-15 Created: 2006-12-15 Last updated: 2010-09-03Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?isnumber=21116&arnumber=980270&count=14&index=7

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