500 GHz plasmonic Mach-Zehnder modulator enabling sub-THz microwave photonics

Broadband electro-optic intensity modulators are essential to convert electrical signals to the optical domain. The growing interest in terahertz wireless applications demands modulators with frequency responses to the sub-terahertz range, high power handling, and very low nonlinear distortions, simultaneously. However, a modulator with all those characteristics has not been demonstrated to date. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that plasmonic modulators do not trade-off any performance parameter, featuring—at the same time—a short length of tens of micrometers, record-high flat frequency response beyond 500 GHz, high power handling, and high linearity, and we use them to create a sub-terahertz radio-over-fiber analog optical link.
These devices have the potential to become a new tool in the general field of microwave photonics, making the sub-terahertz range accessible to, e.g., 5G wireless communications, antenna remoting, Internet of Things, sensing, and more.

FIG. 1. (a) A THz wireless communication scenario. (b) At the remote antenna unit (RAU), THz wireless signals are received by an antenna and converted to the optical domain to be transported over a radio-over-fiber analog link. A modulator with sub-THz bandwidth, high linearity, and high-power handling is needed to encode the THz signal onto an optical carrier with high fidelity. Inset: (b1) micrograph of a plasmonic Mach-Zehnder modulator with a plasmonic phase modulator in each arm; (b2) image of the 120 nm-wide, 20 μm-long phase modulator slot waveguide

We listen

Polariton Technologies AG
Soodstrasse 52,
8134 Adliswil

+41 44 589 51 51


We are revolutionizing our future communication network and contributing to the world through research, scientific accuracy and our very own set of values that we do not compromise.

Follow us

Sneak Peek

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Please confim your email in your inbox

We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use