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Proceedings Paper

Silicon carbide optoelectronic switches
Author(s): Lawrence E. Kingsley; Terrence Burke; Maurice Weiner; Robert J. Youmans; Hardev Singh; Walter R. Buchwald; Joseph R. Flemish; Jian H. Zhao; K. Xie
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Paper Abstract

We will discuss here our efforts to fabricate and test new SiC opto-electronic high voltage switches. We report the ultrafast switching of novel silicon carbide devices using an optical trigger. The switching properties of both commercial SiC pn diodes and in-house fabricated SiC thyristors were investigated. Subnanosecond risetime was observed with both devices. A comparison of SiC pn diode and thyristor switching shows that the thyristor has the highest switching speed and efficiency, and triggers with the least optical energy. We report the first optical triggering of a silicon carbide thyristor into the latched-on state. This switching is characteristic of electrically triggered thyristors, however the optical triggering produced a significantly faster risetime, 370 picosecond, than is possible with electronic triggering. The thyristor switched 100 volts bias with 96% efficiency, corresponding to a device on-state of 4 volts at an average current density of 750 A/cm2. The singular advantages of optical triggering, isolation from the trigger source, synchronized triggering of stacked devices, and switching speed, are highly desirable for high voltage, high power operation of conventional power devices. These results provide enabling technology for high-repetition rate, high-voltage impulse generators and expedite the development of high-power electrically triggered silicon carbide devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 January 1995
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 2343, Optically Activated Switching IV, (4 January 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.198650
Show Author Affiliations
Lawrence E. Kingsley, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Terrence Burke, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Maurice Weiner, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Robert J. Youmans, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Hardev Singh, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Walter R. Buchwald, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Joseph R. Flemish, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Jian H. Zhao, Rutgers Univ. (United States)
K. Xie, Rutgers Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2343:
Optically Activated Switching IV
William R. Donaldson, Editor(s)

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