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Proceedings Paper

Geometrical aspects of switch breakdown
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Paper Abstract

Spontaneous breakdown is generally considered as one of the most prominent failure modes of optically activated power switches, and may very well obstruct further improvement of these devices. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in describing the phenomenological features of this process; in particular there seems to be consensus that it is intimately connected to the onset of current filamentation. A full understanding of its underlying mechanisms, however, has not yet been established. In this manuscript, we focus on the role that geometrical effects play in the dynamics of spontaneous breakdown. In contrast to previous simulations (which tried to implement a realistic description of the switch physics but had to impose artificial symmetries), we represent the device by a rather simple model but allow for a fully three-dimensional evolution. Our results indicate that geometry effects are indeed important for an understanding of spontaneous breakdown: Both qualitatively and quantitatively, the behavior of the three- dimensional switch model differs from that of similar but lower-dimensional descriptions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 January 1995
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2343, Optically Activated Switching IV, (4 January 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.198656
Show Author Affiliations
Ralf Peter Brinkmann, Siemens AG (Germany)

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

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