Acoustic phonons for coherent photon control in semiconductor structures

M. Beck, M.M. de Lima Jr, R. Hey, P.V. Santos

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We present a novel concept for acousto-optical modulation in waveguide (WG) structures using coherent phonons in the form of surface acoustic waves (SAWs). Here, a SAW impinging perpendicular to a waveguide structure induces a change in phase of the light propagating through it, which is translated into a transmission intensity modulation by using the WG as an arm of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI). We show that the modulation becomes strongly enhanced if the SAW induces phase changes of opposite sign in the MZI arms. Very compact modulators with an interaction length between the optical and acoustic waves of approx. 15 µm have been fabricated using focusing acoustic transducers to generate narrow and intense acoustic beams. We show that the acoustic MZI concept can be extended to realize integrated on/off switches by using devices with several interferometer arms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012006
JournalJournal of physics: Conference series
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Conference on Phonon Scattering in Condensed Matter, PHONONS 2007 - Paris, France
Duration: 15 Jul 200720 Jul 2007
Conference number: 12


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