Broadband Modulation of Light by Using an Electro-Optic Polymer

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Science  15 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5597, pp. 1401-1403
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077446

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A major challenge to increasing bandwidth in optical telecommunications is to encode electronic signals onto a lightwave carrier by modulating the light up to very fast rates. Polymer electro-optic materials have the necessary properties to function in photonic devices beyond the 40-GHz bandwidth currently available. An appropriate choice of polymers is shown to effectively eliminate the factors contributing to an optical modulator's decay in the high-frequency response. The resulting device modulates light with a bandwidth of 150 to 200 GHz and produces detectable modulation signal at 1.6 THz. These rates are faster than anticipated bandwidth requirements for the foreseeable future.

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