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Opt Express. 2009 Dec 21;17(26):23793-808. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.023793.

Design of a digital, ultra-broadband electro-optic switch for reconfigurable optical networks-on-chip.

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IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA.


We present a novel design for a noise-tolerant, ultra-broadband electro-optic switch, based on a Mach-Zehnder lattice (MZL) interferometer. We analyze the switch performance through rigorous optical simulations, for devices implemented in silicon-on-insulator with carrier-injection-based phase shifters. We show that such a MZL switch can be designed to have a step-like switching response, resulting in improved tolerance to drive-voltage noise and temperature variations as compared to a single-stage Mach-Zehnder switch. Furthermore, we show that degradation in switching crosstalk and insertion loss due to free-carrier absorption can be largely overcome by a MZL switch design. Finally, MZL switches can be designed for having an ultra-wide, temperature-insensitive optical bandwidth of more than 250 nm. The proposed device shows good potential as a broadband optical switch in reconfigurable optical networks-on-chip.

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