The 2x2 optical switch is a crucial component to the future of optical communications and integrated optics. Optical switches on the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform have shown advantages in terms of device footprint and switching speed. However, due to the intrinsic properties of SOI rib waveguides, these devices suffer from a strong wavelength and polarization dependent response. Our work presents an SOI based Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) switch which is both polarization and wavelength insensitive over a large bandwidth of 1260-1360 nm. We have completed detailed analyses on the polarization and wavelength performance of the MZI, and obtained optimized parameters in a novel design to reduce the crosstalk for transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) modes over the wavelength range 1260-1360 nm. Our simulations suggest that we successfully obtained a polarization and wavelength insensitive MZI. A crosstalk level below -18 dB is achieved for both the TE and TM modes in the on-state and the off-state, across the 100 nm bandwidth. Such a polarization and wavelength insensitive switch has a variety of applications in wavelength division multiplexing and other communication systems.

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Photonics North 2013 Conference
Department of Electronics

Dorin, B.A. (Bryce A.), Goodwill, D. (Dominic), Bernier, E. (Eic), & Ye, W.N. (2013). Large-scale wavelength and polarization insensitive optical switch on SOI from 1260 nm to 1360 nm. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. doi:10.1117/12.2037895