Volume 15 Issue 1
Jan.  2022
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LIU Hai-feng, GUO Hong-jie, TAN Man-qing, LI Zhi-yong. Research progress of lithium niobate thin-film modulators[J]. Chinese Optics, 2022, 15(1): 1-13. doi: 10.37188/CO.2021-0115
Citation: LIU Hai-feng, GUO Hong-jie, TAN Man-qing, LI Zhi-yong. Research progress of lithium niobate thin-film modulators[J]. Chinese Optics, 2022, 15(1): 1-13. doi: 10.37188/CO.2021-0115

Research progress of lithium niobate thin-film modulators

doi: 10.37188/CO.2021-0115
Funds:  Supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2019YFB2203802); National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 61934007)
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  • Corresponding author: mqtan@semi.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2021-05-24
  • Rev Recd Date: 2021-06-25
  • Available Online: 2021-10-16
  • Publish Date: 2022-01-19
  • Electro-optic modulators based on lithium niobate (LiNbO3, LN) thin-film platforms are advantageous for their small volume, high bandwidth and low half-wave voltage. They have important application prospects in the field of optical fiber communication and optical fiber sensing, and thus have became a heavily researched topic in recent years. In this paper, the research progress of the waveguide structures, coupling structures and electrode structures of LN thin-film modulators are reviewed in detail. The fabrication process of a LN thin-film waveguide is summarized, and the performances of different modulator structures are analyzed. Based on SOI and LNOI, a platform modulator is realized with VπL<2 V∙cm, a bilayer inversely tapered coupling scheme achieves a coupling loss <0.5 dB/facet , and a traveling wave electrode structure achieves a modulation bandwidth >100 GHz. Thin-film LN modulators are better than commercial LN modulators in most aspects. It can be predicted that in the near future, with the further improvement in waveguide technology, thin-film LN will become a popular scheme of LN modulators. Finally, the potential directions for the future of their research are proposed.
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