Optics Letters

Nanosecond-scale shift-and-dump Mach–Zehnder switch

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We present a Mach–Zehnder-based optical switch with novel electrooptic shift-and-dump phase shifters that have no residual amplitude modulation. As a result, the switch can have a very high extinction ratio with no overhead in power dissipation or insertion loss compared to standard electrooptic Mach–Zehnder switches. We fabricate the switch in an all-digital silicon photonic platform that monolithically integrates the actuation and control electronics together with the photonics. The switch demonstrates an extinction ratio >33 dB, insertion loss <1.2 dB, and nanosecond-scale transients.