This chapter begins the discussion of optical-signal modulation and switching. In many cases, the same device can function as either a modulator or a switch, depending on the strength of the interaction between the optical waves and the controlling electrical signal, as well as on the arrangement of input and output ports. The device is considered to be a modulator if its primary function is to impress information on a light wave by temporaly varying one of its properties. A switch, on the other hand, changes the spatial position of the light, or else turns it off and on. Many of the same factors must be considered in designing or evaluating both modulators and switches. Hence, it is logical to discuss them together.
KeywordsInsertion Loss Modulation Depth Waveguide Modulator Extinction Ratio Planar Waveguide
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