This paper analytically and experimentally investigates and compares the characteristics of two kinds of polymer buried-channel waveguide thermo-optic switches such as 1) a multimode interference (MMI) switch using a single MMI coupler and 2) a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) switch. Especially, the MZI switch experimentally exhibited low-power consumption of 3.5 mW, high-speed with a response time of less than 200 μs, polarization independence as well as in a wideband of about 80 nm. These low-power consumption, relatively high-speed, and polarization-independent switching characteristics are almost coincident with the designed ones. Furthermore, an improved MZI structure is proposed for lower switching power consumption, and it is expected below 0.5 mW with an enhanced thermal localization structure.
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