This paper reports design of a 2 × 4 hybrid multimode interferometer-Mach-zehnder interferometer (MMI-MZI) configuration consiting of compact thermo-optical switches on the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform. The device consists of two identical MMI slab waveguides as power splitters and couplers that are connected with two identical MMI-based phase shifters, and linear tapers at both ends of the MMIs to minimize the power coupling loss. A thin Al pad is used as a heating element and a trench is created around this pad to prevent heat from spreading, and to minimize loss. The calculated average thermo-optical switching power consumption, excess loss, and power imbalance are 1.4 mW, 0.9 dB, and 0.1 dB, respectively. The overall footprint of the device is 6 × 304 μ m 2 . The new heating method has advantages of compact size, ease of fabrication on SOI platform with the current CMOS technology, and offers low excess loss and power consumption as demanded by devices based on SOI technology. The device can act as two independent optical switches in one device.
Keywords: MMI; MZI; SOI technology; multimode interferometer; thermo-optical switch.