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Proceedings Paper

New results on surface flashover in silicon-dielectric systems
Author(s): Gheorghe Gradinaru; V. P. Madangarli; Tangali S. Sudarshan
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Paper Abstract

New experimental results are reported for silicon samples at high fields in different ambients: vacuum, N2, air, SF6 and SF6 + N2 mixtures, for different experimental conditions. The strong influence of the semiconductor quality and ambient dielectric on the prebreakdown and breakdown response of the system is presented. The high surface flashover sensitivity of semiconductor-vacuum system, as well as the significant interface activity in air and N2 is explained. Using a new physical model of the breakdown in semiconductor- dielectric systems, a new technique was developed consisting of an in-situ treatment of the semiconductor sample (in vacuum) before performing the high field measurements in SF6. Dramatic improvement of the voltage hold-off was obtained in one atmosphere (absolute) SF6. All standard good quality samples, subjected to the vacuum pre-treatment, supported without surface flashover, high fields in the range of 75 - 85 kV/cm, close to the critical breakdown field for SF6 gas at one atmosphere (approximately 89 kV/cm). The role of different defects in producing premature breakdown by surface flashover in SF6 is discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1873, Optically Activated Switching III, (9 June 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.146565
Show Author Affiliations
Gheorghe Gradinaru, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)
V. P. Madangarli, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)
Tangali S. Sudarshan, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)

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

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