Characteristics of trap-filled gallium arsenide photoconductive switches used in high gain pulsed power applications

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The electrical properties of semi-insulating (SI) Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) have been investigated for some time, particularly for its application as a substrate in microelectronics. Of late this material has found a variety of applications other than as an isolation region between devices, or the substrate of an active device. High resistivity SI GaAs is increasingly being used in charged particle detectors and photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS). PCSS made from these materials operating in both the linear and non-linear modes have applications such as firing sets, as drivers for lasers, and in high impedance, low current Q-switches or Pockels cells. In ... continued below

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7 p.

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ISLAM,N.E.; SCHAMILOGLU,E.; MAR,ALAN; LOUBRIEL,GUILLERMO M.; ZUTAVERN,FRED J. & JOSHI,R.P. May 30, 2000.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

The electrical properties of semi-insulating (SI) Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) have been investigated for some time, particularly for its application as a substrate in microelectronics. Of late this material has found a variety of applications other than as an isolation region between devices, or the substrate of an active device. High resistivity SI GaAs is increasingly being used in charged particle detectors and photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS). PCSS made from these materials operating in both the linear and non-linear modes have applications such as firing sets, as drivers for lasers, and in high impedance, low current Q-switches or Pockels cells. In the non-linear mode, it has also been used in a system to generate Ultra-Wideband (UWB) High Power Microwaves (HPM). The choice of GaAs over silicon offers the advantage that its material properties allow for fast, repetitive switching action. Furthermore photoconductive switches have advantages over conventional switches such as improved jitter, better impedance matching, compact size, and in some cases, lower laser energy requirement for switching action. The rise time of the PCSS is an important parameter that affects the maximum energy transferred to the load and it depends, in addition to other parameters, on the bias or the average field across the switch. High field operation has been an important goal in PCSS research. Due to surface flashover or premature material breakdown at higher voltages, most PCSS, especially those used in high power operation, need to operate well below the inherent breakdown voltage of the material. The lifetime or the total number of switching operations before breakdown, is another important switch parameter that needs to be considered for operation at high bias conditions. A lifetime of {approximately} 10{sup 4} shots has been reported for PCSS's used in UWB-HPM generation [5], while it has exceeded 10{sup 8} shots for electro-optic drivers. Much effort is currently being channeled in the study related to improvements of these two parameters high bias operation and lifetime improvement for switches used in pulsed power applications. The contact material and profiles are another important area of study. Although these problems are being pursued through the incorporation of different contact materials and introducing doping near contacts, it is important that the switch properties and the conduction mechanism in these switches be well understood such that the basic nature of the problems can be properly addressed. In this paper the authors report on these two basic issues related to the device operation, i.e., mechanisms for increasing the hold-off characteristics through neutron irradiation, and the analysis of transport processes at varying field conditions in trap dominated SI GaAs in order to identify the breakdown mechanism during device operation. It is expected that this study would result in a better understanding of photoconductive switches, specifically those used in high power operation.

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7 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00756405

Medium: P; Size: 7 pages

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  • EuroEM 2000, Edinburgh, Scotland (GB), 05/30/2000--06/02/2000

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  • Report No.: SAND2000-1350C
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 756405
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc709104

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  • May 30, 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 11, 2017, 3:09 p.m.

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ISLAM,N.E.; SCHAMILOGLU,E.; MAR,ALAN; LOUBRIEL,GUILLERMO M.; ZUTAVERN,FRED J. & JOSHI,R.P. Characteristics of trap-filled gallium arsenide photoconductive switches used in high gain pulsed power applications, article, May 30, 2000; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc709104/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.