Silicon Micro-Ring Modulators for Large-Scale Optical Interconnections

Dr. Qianfan Xu, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Rice University

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
11 a.m.

CSB 209


The recent progresses in the field of silicon photonics have enabled large-scale and monolithic electrooptic integration on chip. One major application of this technology is optical interconnections, which will have profound impact as the performance of computers is increasingly limited by the bandwidth and power consumption of the interconnection systems. A compact, low-power, high-speed and CMOS-compatible electrooptic modulator is the key component for an optical interconnection system. In this talk, I will present a micron-size electrooptic modulator based on the silicon micro-ring resonator with a modulation speed over 10 Gbit/s. The modulation is based on the free-carrier dispersion effect in silicon. The small size and low power consumption of the device are the results of the high optical confinement in silicon resonators. Cascaded silicon micro-ring modulators can drive a wavelength-division multiplexing link with Terabit/sec interconnection bandwidth over a single silicon waveguide.  

Speaker Biography

Dr. Qianfan Xu is an assistant professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. His research interest is in the area of silicon nanophotonics and optoelectronics. Before joining Rice, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University in 2007 and his B. Eng. and M. Eng. degrees in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University in 1999 and 2002, respectively.