Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 4 (2009)

LiNbO3 acousto-optical and electro-optical micromodulators

N. Courjal, M.-P. Bernal, G. Ulliac, J. Dahdah, S. Benchabane, J.-M. Merolla


We report on acousto-optical (AO) and electro-optical (EO) LiNbO3 modulators with an active length of only 11 µm. The miniature devices are based on photonic crystal (PhC) structures that are controlled by an external effect (DC electric field or Surface Acoustic Waves). Two processes are presented for realizing the PhCs despite the resistance of the material to etching. The first method is based on direct FIB writing and can yield the fabrication of holes with depth of 32 m and diameter of 12 m or less. The second method consists in FIB patterning of a mask which is deposited on the substrate. This process is followed by proton exchange (PE) and reactive ion etching (RIE). Thus, structures with a diameter of 400 nm and an aspect ratio of 3:1 have been fabricated. The methods have been applied to the fabrication of EO and AO micromodulators showing a driving voltage of 13,5 V and a driving electric power of 20 mW respectively. These developments open the way to dense integration of dynamic optical functionalities.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2009.09018]

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