High-performance surface-normal modulators based on stepped quantum wells

H. Mohseni*, W. K. Chan, H. An, A. Ulmer, D. Capewell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present high-performance surface-normal modulators based on unique properties of stepped quantum wells (SQWs) around the eye-safe wavelength of 1550 nm. Fabricated devices show nearly two times better efficiency and 7 dB higher extinction ratio compared with the conventional devices with rectangular and coupled-quantum well active layers. Moreover, the optical bandwidth is about 70 nm at a 3dB modulation depth, which is more than five times wider than the optical bandwidth of the conventional devices. Such a wide optical bandwidth eliminates the need for a temperature controller. This is a critical advantage for many applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and dynamic optical tags (DOTs), where limited volume, power, and weight can be allocated to the modulator system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
EventEnabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Mar 31 2005Apr 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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