Nicholas Güsken
Polariton Technologies, Rüschlikon


Enhancing Silicon Photonics: Plasmonic Terabit Modulation on the Micrometer Scale


Today’s information society relies ultimately on ultra-high-bandwidth optical communication networks. The ever-increasing data traffic brings this infrastructure beyond its limits. One of the biggest bottlenecks is the transformation of the electrical data into optical light signals. The devices enabling this transformation are electro-optical modulators. Today’s electro-optical modulators cannot deliver the speed, efficiency and scalability required for the upcoming ultra-high-speed communications and associated applications: they are too large in terms of footprint, expensive to produce, and energy inefficient. This is due to the photonic nature of the current electro-optic modulators and their intrinsic technology.

At Polariton Technologies we developed a modulator platform which relies on confining and guiding light in a nonlinear material using metallic structures so called - plasmonic waveguides - in combination with conventional photonics. These plasmonic-photonic hybrid devices enable us to build modulators which are more than 10-times faster than current photonic modulators (500 GHz world record in the lab). At the same time, they are 100-times more compact, more energy-efficient, and cheaper in production.

This talk introduces the physical concept behind the plasmonic-photonic hybrid modulator technology and explains how this approach can be effectively used for optical communications and sub-Terahertz detection.


Nicholas Güsken joined Polariton Technologies in 2020 after graduating with a PhD from Imperial College London. Here he conducted research on Si-photonics integrated metallic waveguides for light-matter interaction on the nanoscale and photodetection.
At Polariton Technologies Nicholas is involved in the development and design of high-speed electro-optical modulator components and circuits as well as the integration of plasmonic modulators into standard Si-photonics technology.