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We report all-optical switching due to state filling in quantum dots (QDs) within a Mach–Zehnder interferometric switch (MZI). The MZI was fabricated using InGaAsP/InP waveguides containing a single layer of InAs/InP QDs. A 1530–1570 nm probe beam is switched by optical excitation of one MZI arm. By exciting below the InGaAsP band gap, we prove that the refractive index nonlinearity is entirely due to the QDs. The switching efficiency is 5 rad/(μW absorbed power), corresponding to a 6 fJ switching energy. Probe wavelength insensitivity was obtained using a broad size distribution of QDs. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.