Improved hold-off characteristics of gallium arsenide photoconductive switches used in high power applications

N. E. Islam, E. Schamiloglu, C. B. Fleddermann, J. S.H. Schoenberg, R. P. Joshi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Electron injection and the subsequent formation of a trap filled region leads to premature device failure in an opposed contact, EL2/carbon compensated GaAs photoconductive switch, made through the liquid encapsulated Czochralski process. Due to the electrostatic properties associated with a n+/semi-insulating junction, the introduction of a n+ region next to the cathode suppresses electron injection until higher bias. The doping level, length, and the thickness of the high n+ region are some of the parameters that affect hold-off characteristics. Extending the length of the n+ region well beyond the cathode does not increase the hold-off voltage but confines current flow to a narrow strip, which may trigger local heating burnout. Suppression of the effects of the EL2 traps at the n+/SI interface also does not improve the hold-off characteristics. Opposed contact switches, made from intrinsic GaAs have the characteristics of `relaxation' semiconductors. The injection of minority carrier results in initial recombination and the formation of a large number of recombination regions may contribute to switching delays and jitters.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1999
Event12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference - Monterey, CA, USA
Duration: Jun 27 1999Jun 30 1999


Conference12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference
CityMonterey, CA, USA


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