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Proceedings Paper

Electrical and optical properties of high-gain GaAs switches
Author(s): Fred J. Zutavern; Guillermo M. Loubriel; Dan L. McLaughlin; Wesley D. Helgeson; Marty W. O'Malley
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents measurements of electrical and optical properties of GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS) operating in a high gain switching mode previously referred to as "lock-on." High voltage and high current switching properties are given as motivation for understanding this switching mode. X-ray triggering of these switches is demonstrated, and the sensitivity of high field GaAs devices is discussed. Infrared photoluminescence (PL) images of the switches during the initiation of high gain switching reveal dense filaments of high carrier concentration. Spatial modulation of the optical (532 nm) trigger is shown to control the location and influence the number of filaments. The ability to trigger large lateral GaAs PCSS by focusing the light to a point near either contact is described, and the corresponding rise times and delays to high current switching are shown. The sudden rise of current to several orders of magnitude beyond the space charge limited flow which can come from the contacts demonstrates that initiation of this high gain switching mode cannot be explained solely by carrier injection at the contacts and drift across the 1 .5 cm long insulating region.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 1992
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1632, Optically Activated Switching II, (12 May 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.59067
Show Author Affiliations
Fred J. Zutavern, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Guillermo M. Loubriel, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Dan L. McLaughlin, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Wesley D. Helgeson, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Marty W. O'Malley, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1632:
Optically Activated Switching II
Guillermo M. Loubriel, Editor(s)

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