Electric field-induced optical waveguide intensity modulators using GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs quantum wells

R. W. Wickman*, A. L. Moretti, K. A. Stair, T. E. Bird

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a new waveguide intensity modulator that uses the field-dependent refractive index change associated with quantum wells to control the lateral confinement of light in a slab waveguide. By operating at photon energies ∼40 meV below the zero field electron-heavy hole transition energy, we show, conclusively, that the field-induced refractive index change is primarily due to the quantum-confined Stark effect. Intensity modulators are demonstrated with on/off ratios better than 3:1. Devices based on this electrically controllable lateral confinement will play an important role in integrated optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-692
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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