Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improving optical communications with new device

Date:
April 27, 2014
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Computer modeling is assisting the design of optical modulators with low losses to improve optical communications. "Our device has a speed and optical losses comparable to existing technology such as lithium niobate," says Lim. "One reason for this high performance is because we used highly accurate computer codes developed in-house," explains one researcher.

The two plots show the distribution of electrical charges in different designs of modulator. Compared to a previous design (top), the modulator improved by computer modeling (bottom) contains fewer free electrical charges, as depicted by lighter shades of blue (positive charge) and yellow (negative charge).
Credit: Copyright : 2014 A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing

Modulators are key components within optical fiber networks and serve to transfer information from an electrical current to a signal suitable for optical fibers. They function by turning a light beam on and off quickly and the faster they can do this, the more data that can be transmitted.

An increase in data traffic creates a need for a reduction in the cost and size of optical components. An improved low-loss design for modulators, suitable for silicon computer chips, has been developed by Soon Thor Lim and colleagues from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing, the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics and collaborators from Fujikura Ltd.

Existing optical modulators are based on lithium niobate, a material that is expensive and unsuitable for silicon chips. While silicon offers an inexpensive alternative, it can only be used with the addition of other elements that can create positive and negative movable electrical charges. Modulation requires the movable charges to be channeled in and out of the device by an alternating electrical voltage, which controls both the speed of light through the chip and the data rate. Light that passes through this region and crosses light that passes through a neutral silicon region creates interference effects in the optical beam that switches the light on and off.

Previous modulator designs contained charged regions that were relatively large, with the drawback that they increased light absorption in the chip. However, in the team's proposed design, this area is reduced so that less of the laser beam passes through the charged region (see image).

After computer modeling the performance of the modulator, the team fabricated their device on a silicon chip that has light channels only 220 nanometers high and 550 nanometers wide. Compared to designs with large charged areas, these modulators reduced optical losses by up to 28 per cent and operated at faster speeds of 10 gigabits per second.

"Our device has a speed and optical losses comparable to existing technology such as lithium niobate," says Lim. "One reason for this high performance is because we used highly accurate computer codes developed in-house."

Successfully demonstrating the device also highlights how modeling software can reduce the required number of experiments, Lim adds. "Simulation and analysis helps to visualize the physical behavior of these cutting-edge optical devices. This can identify potential problems and circumvent the need for costly multiple design iterations ultimately accelerating the speed to market."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kazuhiro Goi, Kensuke Ogawa, Yong Tsong Tan, Vivek Dixit, Soon Thor Lim, Ching Eng Png, Tsung-Yang Liow, Xiaoguang Tu, Guo-Qiang Lo, Dim-Lee Kwong. Silicon Mach-Zehnder modulator using low-loss phase shifter with bottom PN junction formed by restricted-depth doping. IEICE Electronics Express, 2013; 10 (17): 20130552 DOI: 10.1587/elex.10.20130552

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Improving optical communications with new device." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140427190720.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2014, April 27). Improving optical communications with new device. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140427190720.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Improving optical communications with new device." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140427190720.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins