Optical Materials Processing for High Linearity Electro-optic Modulators

Period of Performance: 05/29/2015 - 05/29/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Srico, Inc.
Columbus, OH 43235
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT:This proposal addresses advanced materials processing technologies for production of high linearity and low voltage electro-optic modulators in engineered ferroelectric lithium niobate substrate. SRICO proposes to utilize proprietary crystal ion sliced thin film lithium niobate technology to implement a device structure uniquely designed for the development of high linearity electro-optic modulators. In-house capability to produce thin film lithium niobate provides SRICO the design freedom to implement novel device structures. Reliable nanometer scale formation of optical waveguide elements will be the key to implementation of a practical integrated RF photonic modulator. The key focus of Phase I will be on design, development, modeling and simulation, testing and trade-off analyses of the techniques and the structures to determine the optimal design and processing techniques for meeting the performance requirements. Phase I work will develop processing techniques to experimentally demonstrate total optical insertion loss of less than 6 dB. Modeling, simulation, fabrication and test results will be used to identify a candidate modulator design for prototyping in Phase II that has optical insertion loss less than 6 dB, 3 dB optical bandwidth of 60 GHz for first sideband, V-pi < 2 volts, and no third-order mixing products.BENEFIT:We anticipate that the platform materials engineering technologies developed during this effort will enable SRICO to lay the foundation for a breakthrough highly linearized, high speed electro-optic modulator product that will have multiple dual-use applications, particularly in military and civilian optical communications systems. The low switching voltage modulator would be ideal for wideband optical signal processing for arbitrary waveform generation, optical filtering, A/D conversion and beam forming applications. Other key applications include phased array radar, free space optical communications, mobile communications, satellite communications, cable TV transmission, and short-reach optical networks.