Researchers develop an electro-optical modulator that is 100x smaller and uses a 100th of the energy consumption

08/10/2015 - 17:40

Oliver Morsch

Transmitting large amounts of data, such as those needed to keep the internet running, requires high-performance modulators that turn electric signals into light signals. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a modulator that is a hundred times smaller than conventional models.

In February 1880 in his laboratory in Washington the American inventor Alexander Graham Bell developed a device which he himself called his greatest achievement, greater even than the telephone: the “photophone”.


All-plasmonic Mach-Zehnder modulator enabling optical high-speed communication at the microscale. Nature Photonics (2015) | DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2015.127