1Key Laboratory of 3D Micro/Nano Fabrication and Characterization of Zhejiang Province, School of Engineering, Westlake University, Hangzhou 310024, China
2Institute of Advanced Technology, Westlake Institute for Advanced Study, Hangzhou 310024, China
3Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences, Kyushu University, 6-1 Kasuga-koen, Kasuga, Fukuoka 816-8580, Japan
Electro-optic (EO) ring resonator modulators have a number of communications and scientific applications, including analog optical links, optical signal processing, and frequency comb generation. Among the EO materials used to fabricate ring modulators, the EO polymer has many promising characteristics, including a high EO coefficient of 100–200 pm/V (3–7 times larger than that of ), an ultrafast EO response time (), a low dielectric constant (3 to 4) with very little dispersion up to at least 250 GHz, and a straightforward spin-coating fabrication process. These inherent characteristics will be able to combine excellent EO properties with simple processing in achieving exceptional performance in a variety of high-speed optical modulation and sensing devices. This review focuses on the research and recent development of ring resonator modulators based on EO polymers. The first part describes the operation principle of EO ring resonator modulators, such as modulation mechanism, EO tunability, and 3 dB bandwidth. Subsequently, the emphasis is placed on the discussion of the ring modulators with EO polymers as the waveguide core and the improvement of EO modulation by using an EO polymer/titanium dioxide hybrid core. At the end, a series of EO polymers on silicon platforms including slot modulators, etching-free modulators, and athermal modulators are reviewed.