Silicon Carbide Modulator Overcomes Decades-Old “Missing Block”


Professor Xiaoke Yi is an award-winning researcher.

Principal Investigator from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney, Professor Xiaoke Yi, said: “The use of silicon carbide will potentially open a new chapter of photonics opportunities for various applications, including quantum computing.

Electro-optical modulators encode electrical signals onto an optical carrier. They are essential to the operation of global communication systems and data centers used in a range of applications and industrial settings such as artificial intelligence (AI), broadband networks and high performance computing.

“Modulators that use the Pockels effect enable low-loss, ultra-fast, high-bandwidth data transmission. Overcoming the prior impracticality of silicon carbide could enable unique integrated photonic circuits to transmit and process signals at high bandwidth and high speed, as well as emerging quantum technologies,” said Professor Yi, who is affiliated with at the Sydney Nano Institute.

“We also hope this will help integrate photonics with electronics – potentially opening the way to a new generation of integrated devices used for signal processing, microwave photonics, chip-to-chip or intra-chip interconnects.

Harvard University lead researcher Professor Marko Loncar said: “The silicon carbide modulator will likely find applications in quantum communications. For example, they could be used to control the temporal and spectral properties of the quantum emitters that exist in this material, as well as to route photons in reconfigurable ways.

The University of Sydney and Harvard modulator was shown to have no signal degradation and demonstrated stable operations at high optical intensities, enabling high optical signal-to-noise ratios for modern center communications. data, 6G and satellites, and the future quantum internet.


The researchers have no conflict of interest to declare. Device fabrication and characterization were performed at Harvard University’s Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), a member of the National Technology Coordinated Infrastructure Network, and the University of Sydney. This work was supported by Sydney Research Accelerator Fellowship and Harvard University Mobility Scheme.

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