Gb/s-Range Semiconductor and Ti:LiNbO3 Guided-Wave Optical Modulators.


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E79-C    No.1    pp.3-13
Publication Date: 1996/01/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section INVITED PAPER (Special Issue on Optomicrowave Techniques and Their Applications)
Category: Optomicrowave Devices
optical modulators,  waveguide,  semiconductor,  LinbO3,  optical communication systems,  

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External modulators, which have smaller chirping characteristics than laser diode direct modulation, are desired for high-speed and long-distance optical fiber communication systems. This paper reviews semiconductor and Ti:LiNbO3 guided-wave high-speed optical modulators. Since several effects exist for semiconductor materials, various kinds of semiconductor optical modulators have been investigated. Among these, absorption type intensity modulators based on Franz-Keldysh effect in bulk materials and quantum confined stark effect in multiple quantum well materials, are promising because of compactness, low drive voltage nature and integration ease with DFB lasers. Recent progress on semiconductor absorption modulators and DFB-LD integrated semiconductor modulators is discussed with emphasis on a novel fabrication method using selective area growth by MOVPE (Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy). The Ti:LiNbO3 optical modulators are also important, due to the advantage of superior chirping characteristics and wide bandwidth. Since the Ti:LiNbO3 optical modulator has low propagation loss and low conductor loss natures for optical waves and microwaves, respectively, the traveling-wave electrode configuration is suitable for high-speed operation. Here, broadband Ti:LiNbO3 optical modulators are discussed with emphasis on traveling-wave electrode design.