Abstract

The effects of group-velocity dispersion (GVD) in nonlinear Mach–Zehnder interferometers and nonlinear directional couplers composed of highly nonlinear optical waveguides are analyzed. The criteria for avoiding the switching-performance degradation that results from GVD-related effects are clarified in terms of the lowest soliton order N. The major factor that restricts the lowest N value depends on the device configuration as well as on the extent of the walk-off between the gate and the signal pulses. The lowest switching energy can be estimated by use of the lowest N value and a figure of merit of the nonlinear material.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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