Compact MZI modulators on thin film Z-cut lithium niobate

Ahmed E. Hassanien, Amr O. Ghoname, Edmond Chow, Lynford L. Goddard, Songbin Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we designed, implemented, and characterized compact Mach-Zehnder interferometer-based electro-optic modulators. The modulator utilizes spiral-shaped optical waveguides on Z-cut lithium niobate and the preeminent electro-optic effect which is applied using top and bottom electrodes. Optical waveguides are made of rib etched lithium niobate waveguides with bottom silicon oxide cladding, while SU8 polymer covers the top and sides of the rib waveguides. The proposed implementation resulted in low optical losses < 1.3 dB/cm. Moreover, we achieved compact modulators that fit 0.286 cm and 2 cm long optical waveguides in 110 μm × 110 μm and 300 μm × 300 μm areas, respectively. For single arm modulation, the modulators achieved a VπL of 7.4 and 6.4 and 3-dB bandwidths of 9.3 GHz and 2.05 GHz, respectively. Push-pull modulation is expected to cut these VπL in half. The proposed configuration avoids traveling wave modulation complexities and represents a key development towards miniature and highly integrated photonic circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4543-4552
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 31 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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