All silicon Fabry-Perot modulators, operating at the wavelengths of 1.3 and 1.55 micrometers , have been fabricated by VLSI technology. The planar channel cavities, with lengths ranging between 50 and 100 micrometers , have been obtained by plasma etching and not by cleavage of the chips. Therefore, the devices are really integrable with microelectronic circuits or with other photonics components. the modulators, based on the thermo-optic effect, are electrically driven and operate at repetition frequencies up to about 2 MHz. This is by far the best result obtained in thermo-optic effect based modulators. Optimixed version of the devices could find application in low-cost optoelectronic systems at the subscriber units in fiber-to-the-home networks.
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