Fundamental electro-optic limitations of thin-film lithium niobate microring modulators

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We investigate the impact of waveguide curvature on the electro-optic efficiency of microring resonators in thin-film X-cut or Y-cut lithium niobate (in-plane extraordinary axis) and derive explicit relations on the response. It is shown that such microring modulators have a fundamental upper bound on their electro-optic performance (∼50% filling factor) which corresponds to a specific arrangement of metal electrodes surrounding the microring and yields nearly identical results for X-cut and Y-cut designs. We further show that this limitation does not exist (i.e., 100% filling factor is possible) with Z-cut microring modulators or can be circumvented (i.e., ∼100% filling factor is possible) in X-cut and Y-cut modulators that use a race-track configuration with segmented electrodes. Comparison of our analytical results with multiphysics simulations and measured electro-optic efficiencies of microring resonators in the literature demonstrates the validity and accuracy of our approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13731-13749
Number of pages19
JournalOptics Express
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 27 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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