Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Electrical & Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Nathaniel Kinsey, Ph.D.


Electro-optic/absorption Modulators (EOM/EAMs) encode high-frequency electrical signals into optical signals. With the requirement of large packing density, device miniaturization is possible by confining light in a sub-wavelength dimension by utilizing the plasmonic phenomenon. In plasmon, energy gets transferred from light to the form of oscillation of free electrons on a surface of a metal at an interface between the metal and a dielectric. Plasmonic provides increased light-matter interaction (LMI) and thus making the light more sensitive to local refractive index change. Plasmonic-based integrated nanophotonic modulators, despite their promising features, have one key limiting factor of large Insertion Loss (IL) which limits their practical potential. To combat this, this research utilizes a plasmon-assisted approach through the lens of surface-to-volume ratio to realize a 4-slot-based EAM with an extinction ratio (ER) of 2.62 dB/μm and insertion loss (IL) of 0.3 dB/μm operating at ~1 GHz and a single slot design with ER of 1.4 dB/ μm and IL of 0.25 dB/ μm operating at ~20 GHz, achieved by replacing the traditional metal contact with heavily doped Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). Furthermore, the analysis imposes realistic fabrication constraints, and material properties, and illustrates trade-offs in the performance that must be carefully optimized for a given scenario. Besides the research investigates optical and electrical properties of constituent materials through techniques such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) for depositing thin films, spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), and Hall measurements for optical and electrical characterization respectively.


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