We discuss the performance of slow-light enhanced optical switches and modulators fabricated in silicon. The switch is based on photonic crystal waveguides in a directional coupler geometry, and the dispersion of the device is engineered to allow a switching length as short as 5 µm and rerouting of optical signals within 3 ps. The 3 ps switching time is demonstrated using free carriers in the silicon generated by the absorption of a femtosecond pump pulse. The modulator is based on a Mach-Zehnder interferometer configuration, with photonic crystal waveguides in each arm to act as phase-shifters. A flat-band slow-light region has been engineered in the phase-shifters to provide an extinction ratio in excess of 15 dB over the entire 11 nm bandwidth of the modulator device.
The original publication is available at SPIE. by link DOI: 10.1117/12.840948