Plasmonic lithium niobate Mach-Zehnder modulators

Martin Thomaschewski*, Vladimir A Zenin, Saskia Fiedler, Christian Wolff, Sergey I Bozhevolnyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Lithium niobate Mach-Zehnder modulators (MZMs) are present in a wide range of technologies and though fulfilling the performance and reliability requirements of present applications, they are becoming progressively too bulky, power inefficient, and slow in switching to keep pace with future technological demands. Here, we utilize plasmonics to demonstrate the most efficient (VπL = 0.23 Vcm) lithium niobate MZM to date, consisting of gold nanostripes on lithium niobate that guide both plasmonic modes and electrical signals that control their relative optical phase delay, thereby enabling efficient electro-optic modulation. For high linearity (modulation depth of >2 dB), the proposed MZM inherently operates near its quadrature point by shifting the relative phase of the signal in the interferometric arms. The demonstrated lithium niobate MZM manifests the benefits of employing plasmonics for applications that demand compact (<1 mm2) and fast (>10 GHz) photonic components operating reliably at ambient temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNano Letters
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)6471-6475
Publication statusPublished - 24. Aug 2022


  • Pockels effect
  • Surface plasmon polaritons
  • integrated optics
  • nanophotonics
  • optoelectronics


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasmonic lithium niobate Mach-Zehnder modulators'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this