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We have designed and fabricated Mach-Zehnder interferometer thermooptic switches using a wafer-bonded thin-silicon-on-insulator materials system. The thermally switched devices use single-mode strip waveguides with dimensions 0.26×0.6 μm2, operating at a wavelength of /spl lambda/=1.55 μm. Useful device characteristics include a low switching power, 50 mW, and a fast rise time of <3.5 μs. These results demonstrate the potential of this high-index-contrast materials system for the design of fast and low-power thermooptic switches and as an active element in photonic integrated circuits.