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We propose that a polarization-insensitive Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) switch is useful for optical gate elements, especially if multiwavelength signals are input. This device has high-input-power saturation properties, which shows that both the operating voltage and the extinction ratio do not change when the optical input power reaches at least +18 dBm. A high extinction ratio of 30 dB was achieved in the wide-wavelength range of 20 nm. Moreover, the extinction ratio can be improved by up to 45 dB by using a cascaded configuration to decrease crosstalk. These results indicate the MZI gate switch is well suited to wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) network components.
Date of Publication: April 1998