The large electro-optic coefficient, r33, of thin-film lithium niobate (LN) on insulator makes it an excellent material platform for high-efficiency optical modulators. Using the fundamental transverse magnetic optical mode in Z-cut LN enables isotropic in-plane devices; however, realizing a strong vertical electric field to capitalize on r33 has been challenging. Here we present a symmetric electrode configuration to boost the vertical field strength inside a fully-etched single-mode LN waveguide. We use this design paradigm to demonstrate an ultra-compact fully isotropic microring modulator with a high electro-optic tuning efficiency of 9 pm/V, extinction ratio of 20 dB, and modulation bandwidth beyond 28 GHz. Under quasi-static operation, the tuning efficiency of the modulator reaches 20 pm/V. Fast, efficient, high-contrast modulation will be critical in future optical communication systems while large quasi-static efficiency will enable post-fabrication trimming, thermal compensation, and even complete reconfiguration of microring-based sensor arrays and photonic integrated circuits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics