Abstract

We have realized a novel Mach–Zehnder interferometer (MZI) thermo-optic switch that can operate over a much wider wavelength range than a conventional MZI switch. We constructed the novel MZI switch by incorporating a phase-generating coupler (PGC) as an optical coupler. The PGC generates a nonlinear wavelength-dependent phase, which functions as a virtual wavelength-dependent delay part that cancels out the wavelength dependence of a MZI. We fabricated the novel MZI switch on a silica-based planar light-wave circuit and achieved a low insertion loss of less than 1.6 dB and a high extinction ratio of 30 dB over a wide wavelength range of 160 nm.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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