Lightwave Logic touts organic polymer modulator performance

Technology development company Lightwave Logic, Inc. (OTCQB: LWLG) says it has completed preliminary testing on its prototype polymer-based optical modulator device. Data rates achieved with the device reached 30–35 Gbps in the 1550-nm telecom frequency band.

Technology development company Lightwave Logic, Inc. (OTCQB: LWLG) says it has completed preliminary testing on its prototype polymer-based optical modulator device. Data rates achieved with the device reached 30–35 Gbps in the 1550-nm telecom frequency band.

Fabrication of the prototype device, which is based on Lightwave Logic’s proprietary silicon organic hybrid (SOH) technology, was announced last month (see “Lightwave Logic demos prototype silicon organic hybrid modulator”).

The tested SOH chip had a 1-mm square footprint, opening up the possibility of creating sophisticated integrated optical circuits on a single silicon substrate. In addition, the waveguide structure was approximately 1/20 the length of a typical inorganic-based silicon photonics modulator waveguide, the company says.

A smaller, flexible form factor is essential to keep pace with the rapidly expanding telecom and data communications markets, Lightwave Logic asserts.

Based on the combination of electro-optic polymer material and the extremely high optical field concentration in the slot waveguide modulator, the prototype modulators required less than 2.2 V to operate at speeds up to 30-35 Gbps. For comparison, 4x10-Gbps lithium niobate modulators would require approximately 12-16 V to move the same amount of information, according to the company.

Lightwave's electro-optic polymer material can also operate in the 1310-nm frequency band, which is suitable for data communications applications. A commercially qualified device could find application in several layers within the data center environment, but the company says it plans to target the rack-to-server layer initially.

"This is a major step towards commercialization of organic polymers," said Tom Zelibor, chairman and CEO of Lightwave Logic. "We are already making improvements and addressing parameters that are essential to move toward commercialization…now it is time to optimize the material performance for these revolutionary devices."

Lightwave Logic says that, unlike inorganic compounds, organic nonlinear optical polymers can be chemically altered to improve performance since their molecular structure allows manipulation – and thus they offer a pathway to better-and-better performance.

For more information on optical components and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.

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