High-performance hybrid silicon and lithium niobate Mach–Zehnder modulators for 100 Gbit s−1 and beyond
Optical modulators are at the heart of optical communication links. Ideally, they should feature low insertion loss, low drive voltage, large modulation bandwidth, high linearity, compact footprint and low manufacturing cost. Unfortunately, these criteria have only been achieved on separate occasions.Based on a Silicon and Lithium Niobate hybrid integration platform, we demonstrate Mach-Zehnder modulators that simultaneously fulfill these criteria. The presented device exhibits an insertion
... of 2.5 dB, voltage-length product of 2.2 Vcm, high linearity, electro-optic bandwidth of at least 70 GHz and modulation rates up to 112 Gbit/s. The high-performance modulator is realized by seamless integration of high-contrast waveguide based on Lithium Niobate - the most mature modulator material - with compact, low-loss silicon circuits. The hybrid platform demonstrated here allows for the combination of 'best-in-breed' active and passive components, opening up new avenues for enabling future high-speed, energy efficient and cost-effective optical communication networks.