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Proceedings Paper

Development of current filaments in photoconductive GaAs switches
Author(s): Karl H. Schoenbach; J. S. Kenney; Frank E. Peterkin; R. J. Allen
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Paper Abstract

The electric field structure in GaAs photoconductive switches was recorded by means of an optical diagnostic technique which is based on the Franz-Keldysh effect. At low voltages a 100 micrometers wide region of high electric field strength was seen at the cathode only. With increasing voltage, but below the lock-on value, strong domain like field structures emerge in the anode region. At voltages where lock-on of the photocurrent occurred, current filaments were recorded which seem to shorten the electric field structures. Damage due to filamentation was observed mainly at the contacts. Increasing the intensity of the activating laser and consequently the photocurrent caused the electric field in the domains near the anode to increase and resulted in a lowering of the threshold value for lock-on.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 1993
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 1873, Optically Activated Switching III, (9 June 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.146554
Show Author Affiliations
Karl H. Schoenbach, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
J. S. Kenney, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Frank E. Peterkin, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
R. J. Allen, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1873:
Optically Activated Switching III
R. Aaron Falk, Editor(s)

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