Electro-Optics vs. Magneto-Optics: Power Considerations
Final technical rept. 15 Jan 1973-30 Jun 1974
IBM THOMAS J WATSON RESEARCH CENTER YORKTOWN HEIGHTS NY
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Conventional calculations of the power per unit bandwidth, based on the evaluation of the energy stored in the active crystal, indicate that magneto-optic modulators might be more attractive than their electro-optic counterparts. However, these calculations do not take into account the dynamical response of an assembly of spins placed in a magnetic field. Whether magnetization reversal takes place by coherent rotation or domain wall motion, the switching time decreases with increasing modulating field amplitude. This behavior is expected on a theoretical basis and is well confirmed by experiments. As a corollary, the bandwidth of a m-o device can be pushed upwards only at the cost of increasing power consumption. With presently available films, the power requirements are such that magneto-optics does not appear to be competitive with electro-optics for the construction of wideband, low power, integrated optical modulators.
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