A new type of ultrafast all optical switch based on a Mach-Zehnder interferometer is demonstrated with a 10 ps switching window which requires only 0.65 pJ of control pulse energy. The optical nonlinearity which is utilized is associated with the gain compression of semiconductor optical amplifiers, and the switching turnoff transition does not depend on the slow amplifier recovery time. Both data and control pulses are at the same wavelength of 1.313 μm, and are not polarized orthogonal to each other. The device configuration and the semiconductor amplifiers allow for small scale integration and data output cascadability.
- Mach-Zehnder interferometer
- optical nonlinearity
- data output cascadability
- semiconductor optical amplifiers