Concept

Technology

Polariton Technologies’ electro-optic modulators rely on plasmonics rather than photonics. Based on scientific breakthroughs at ETH Zurich, these plasmonic modulators demonstrated to be more than 10-times faster than current photonic modulators (500 GHz world record in the lab).

At the same time, the modulators are 100-times more compact, more energy-efficient, and cheaper in production. These features are enabled by Polariton Technologies’ plasmonics modulator technology.

The plasmonics modulator technology has been developed for more than 6 years at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Key to our technology is the coupling of light with electrons at a metal surface. Light is coupled to the metal surface as Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPPs). This way we are able to confine light below the diffraction limit. In our electro-optic modulators, these strongly confined SPPs interact with an electro-optic material. Here, the properties of the SPPs are efficiently modulated. The tight confinement enables our modulators to efficiently modulate light on a most-compact footprint and at highest speeds.

Publications

[1] Heni, Wolfgang, et al. “Plasmonic IQ modulators with attojoule per bit electrical energy consumption.” Nature communications 10.1 (2019): 1694.

[2] Koch, Ueli, et al. “Ultra-Compact Terabit Plasmonic Modulator Array.” Journal of Lightwave Technology (2019).

[3] Burla, Maurizio, et al. “500 GHz plasmonic Mach-Zehnder modulator enabling sub-THz microwave photonics.” APL Photonics 4.5 (2019)

[4] Salamin, Yannick, et al. “Microwave plasmonic mixer in a transparent fibre–wireless link.” Nature photonics 12.12 (2018): 749.

[5] Baeuerle, Benedikt, et al. “Reduced Equalization Needs of 100 GHz Bandwidth Plasmonic Modulators.” Journal of Lightwave Technology (2019).

 [6] Hössbacher, Claudia, et al. “Plasmonic modulator with> 170 GHz bandwidth demonstrated at 100 GBd NRZ.” Optics Express 25.3 (2017): 1762-1768.

 [7] Ayata, Masafumi, et al. “High-speed plasmonic modulator in a single metal layer.” Science 358.6363 (2017): 630-632.

[8] Haffner, Christian, et al. “Plasmonic organic hybrid modulators—scaling highest speed photonics to the microscale.” Proceedings of the IEEE 104.12 (2016): 2362-2379.

[9] Haffner, Christian, et al. “All-plasmonic Mach–Zehnder modulator enabling optical high-speed communication at the microscale.” Nature Photonics 9.8 (2015): 525.