One-Dimensional Photonic Crystal Slot Waveguide for Silicon-Organic Hybrid Electro-Optic Modulators

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In an on-chip silicon-organic hybrid electro-optic (EO) modulator, the mode overlap with EO materials, in-device effective 𝑟33, and propagation loss are among the most critical factors that determine the performance of the modulator. Various waveguide structures have been proposed to optimize these factors, yet there is a lack of comprehensive consideration on all of them. In this Letter, a one-dimensional (1D) photonic crystal (PC) slot waveguide structure is proposed that takes all these factors into consideration. The proposed structure takes advantage of the strong mode confinement within a low-index region in a conventional slot waveguide and the slow-light enhancement from the 1D PC structure. Its simple geometry makes it robust to resist fabrication imperfections and helps reduce the propagation loss. Using it as a phase shifter in a Mach–Zehnder interferometer structure, an integrated silicon-organic hybrid EO modulator was experimentally demonstrated. The observed effective EO coefficient is as high as 490 pm/V. The measured half-wave voltage and length product is less than 1 V · cm and can be further improved. A potential bandwidth of 61 GHz can be achieved and further improved by tailoring the doping profile. The proposed structure offers a competitive novel phase-shifter design, which is simple, highly efficient, and with low optical loss, for on-chip silicon-organic hybrid EO modulators.