30 dB Contrast GaAlInAs Multiple Quantum Well Asymmetric Reflection Modulator at 1.3 µm

High-speed optical communication interconnects and networks will require the use of high-contrast optical processing elements to fully use the bandwidth available in state-of-the-art optical fibers. Semiconductor quantum well modulators may be used for such applications. We have demonstrated an all-optical GaAlInAs/AlInAs multipe quantum well (MQW) asymmetric reflection modulator for use at 1.3 μm with an on/off contrast ratio exceeding 1000:1 and an insertion loss of 2.2 dB at a pump intensity of 30 kW/cm2, corresponding to a carrier density of 4.5X1017 cm-3. The recovery time of the modulator is measured at ~ 725 psec, indicating that the operating speed of the device approaches 1 GHz.

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