An intensity modulator based on a Mach-Zehder interferometer. The intensity modulation is obtained by creating  phase differences between the two arms of the interferometer. Depending on the overall phase difference, the light recombines more or less efficiently, or does not recombine at all, at the output of the interferometer, conducting to a modulation of the output power.

In LiNb03 intensity modulators, the interferometers is made up with waveguides in the material and the phase difference obtained by applying an electric field on both arms.

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