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Electroabsorption optical modulator

United States Patent

9,823,497
November 21, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An electroabsorption modulator incorporates waveguiding regions along the length of the modulator that include quantum wells where at least two of the regions have quantum wells with different bandgaps. In one embodiment of the invention, the regions are arranged such that the quantum wells have bandgaps with decreasing bandgap energy along the length of the modulator from the modulator's input to its output. The bandgap energy of the quantum wells may be decreased in discrete steps or continuously. Advantageously, such an arrangement better distributes the optical absorption as well as the carrier density along the length of the modulator. Further advantageously, the modulator may handle increased optical power as compared with prior art modulators of similar dimensions, which allows for improved link gain when the optical modulator is used in an analog optical communication link.
Skogen; Erik J. (Albuquerque, NM)
National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC (Albuquerque, NM)
15/ 095,516
April 11, 2016
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS IN THIS INVENTION This invention was made with U.S. government support under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. government has certain rights in this invention.