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Proceedings Paper

High-gain GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS): device lifetime, high-current testing, optical pulse generators
Author(s): Fred J. Zutavern; Guillermo M. Loubriel; Wesley D. Helgeson; Marty W. O'Malley; R. R. Gallegos; Harold P. Hjalmarson; Albert G. Baca; Thomas A. Plut
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents results from three areas of GaAs PCSS research and development: device lifetime, high current switching, and PCSS-driven laser diode arrays (LDA). We have performed device lifetime tests on both lateral and vertical switches as a function of current amplitude, pulse width, and charging time. At present, our longest-lived switch reached 4 X 106 pulses. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images show damage near the contacts even after only 5 pulses. We are presently searching for the threshold at which no damage is evident after a single shot. In high current tests, we have reached 5.2 kA at 4.2 kV. This was achieved using twenty fiber-optic coupled lasers to distribute current filaments over a 5 mm wide PCSS. Current waveforms and images of the current filaments as a function of current amplitude will be presented. The lasers used to trigger the high current PCSS were driven with a miniature PCSS. Low inductance, high speed GaAs PCSS are very effective as short pulse laser diode array drivers. Some types of arrays gain switch, producing a compressed optical pulse which is only 57 ps wide. Results from tests with a variety of laser diode arrays will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 January 1995
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2343, Optically Activated Switching IV, (4 January 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.198655
Show Author Affiliations
Fred J. Zutavern, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Guillermo M. Loubriel, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Wesley D. Helgeson, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Marty W. O'Malley, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
R. R. Gallegos, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Harold P. Hjalmarson, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Albert G. Baca, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Thomas A. Plut, Sandia National Labs. (United States)

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

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