Design and evaluation of a compact silicon carbide photoconductive semiconductor switch

Colt James, Cameron Hettler, James Dickens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A high-power vertical photoconductive switch was fabricated from a high-purity semi-insulating 4H-SiC wafer. The device was fabricated from an as-grown wafer with resistivity 109 Ω · cm and had a dark resistance of greater than 6 × 109 Ω. The switch was operated at 15 kV/cm and achieved a peak photocurrent of 14 A into a 25-Ω load. Optimization of the excitation wavelength and switch geometry using an optical parametric oscillator was studied in order to decrease the laser requirements for optical triggering. This has led to a decrease in on-state resistance of almost two orders of magnitude for similar excitation energy levels at visible wavelengths. This work forms the basis for developing very compact high-voltage photoconductive switches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5643138
Pages (from-to)508-511
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Photoconducting devices
  • photoconductivity
  • power semiconductor switches
  • silicon carbide


Dive into the research topics of 'Design and evaluation of a compact silicon carbide photoconductive semiconductor switch'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this