Fast thermo-optical switch based on SOI waveguides

Timo Aalto, Markku Kapulainen, Sanna Yliniemi, Päivi Heimala, Matti Leppihalme

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Thermo-optical silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguide switch has been fabricated and characterized. The switch is based on a 2x2 Mach-Zehnder interferometer and 9 microns thick ridge waveguides. The extinction ratio of the switch is 17 dB with ultra-slow modulation and it is limited by the unoptimized directional coupler lengths. Thermo-optical switching with conventional on/off modulation was demonstrated up to 10 kHz. The average power consumption was 150 mW and the extinction ratio was 15 dB in 10 kHz square wave modulation. By using a novel modulation principle the maximum frequency was rised up to 167 kHz, while still maintaining the 15 dB extinction ratio in square wave modulation. With random binary modulation at 167 kHz frequency (3 μs per bit) the extinction ratio remained above 13 dB and the average power consumption was 590 mW. The obtained frequency limits for square wave modulation correspond to a maximum of 1% deviation from the attainable extinction ratio limits. With less strict extinction ratio requirements the maximum frequencies can be much higher. The new modulation method can be used to radically speed up interferometric switches with a tolerable increase in the power consumption.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIntegrated Optics
    Subtitle of host publicationDevices, Materials, and Technologies VII
    EditorsYakov S. Sidorin, Ari Tervonen
    PublisherInternational Society for Optics and Photonics SPIE
    ISBN (Print)0-8194-4787-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventPhotonics West 2003 (PW'03) - San Jose, United States
    Duration: 27 Jan 200329 Jan 2003

    Publication series

    SeriesProceedings of SPIE


    ConferencePhotonics West 2003 (PW'03)
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Jose


    • silicon-on-insulator
    • SOI
    • waveguide
    • thermo-optical switch
    • phase modulation
    • Mach-Zehnder interferometer


    Dive into the research topics of 'Fast thermo-optical switch based on SOI waveguides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this