Analytical expression of signal bandwidth of general straight and tapered N× N multimode interference (MMI) couplers is presented. The signal bandwidth is characterized as a function of mode relative energy, mode propagation delay time, and mode pulse broadening in the multimode section of MMI coupler. The model is used to evaluate the signal bandwidth of specific couplers. Results indicate that the signal bandwidth decreases seriously with the increase of channel number and channel guide space. Compared with the straight MMI coupler, the tapered MMI coupler has an improved signal bandwidth.
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