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

: Burla, Maurizio; Hoessbacher, Claudia; Heni, Wolfgang; Haffner, Christian; Fedoryshyn, Yuriy; Werner, Dominik; Watanabe, Tatsuhiko; Massler, Hermann; Elder, Delwin; Dalton, Larry; Leuthold, Juerg

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Online im WWW, 2018, arXiv:1901.00477, 15 S.
Bericht, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IAF ()

Broadband electro-optic intensity modulators are essential to convert electrical signals to the optical domain. The growing interest in THz wireless applications demands modulators with frequency responses to the sub-THz 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 10s of micrometers, record-high flatfrequency response beyond 500 GHz, high power handling and high linearity, and we use them to create a sub-THz 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-THz range accessible to e.g. 5G wireless communications, antenna remoting, IoT, sensing, and more.