Final report on LDRD project : advanced optical trigger systems.

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Advanced optically-activated solid-state electrical switch development at Sandia has demonstrated multi-kA/kV switching and the path for scalability to even higher current/power. Realization of this potential requires development of new optical sources/switches based on key Sandia photonic device technologies: vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) devices. The key to increasing the switching capacity of PCSS devices to 5kV/5kA and higher is to distribute the current in multiple parallel line filaments triggered by an array of high-brightness line-shaped illuminators. Commercial mechanically-stacked edge-emitting lasers have been used to trigger multiple filaments, but they are difficult to scale and manufacture with ... continued below

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31 p.

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Roose, Lars D.; Hadley, G. Ronald; Mar, Alan; Serkland, Darwin Keith; Geib, Kent Martin; Sullivan, Charles Thomas et al. September 1, 2008.

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Description

Advanced optically-activated solid-state electrical switch development at Sandia has demonstrated multi-kA/kV switching and the path for scalability to even higher current/power. Realization of this potential requires development of new optical sources/switches based on key Sandia photonic device technologies: vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) devices. The key to increasing the switching capacity of PCSS devices to 5kV/5kA and higher is to distribute the current in multiple parallel line filaments triggered by an array of high-brightness line-shaped illuminators. Commercial mechanically-stacked edge-emitting lasers have been used to trigger multiple filaments, but they are difficult to scale and manufacture with the required uniformity. In VCSEL arrays, adjacent lasers utilize identical semiconductor material and are lithographically patterned to the required dimensions. We have demonstrated multiple-line filament triggering using VCSEL arrays to approximate line generation. These arrays of uncoupled circular-aperture VCSELs have fill factors ranging from 2% to 30%. Using these arrays, we have developed a better understanding of the illumination requirements for stable triggering of multiple-filament PCSS devices. Photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) devices offer advantages of high voltage operation (multi-kV), optical isolation, triggering with laser pulses that cannot occur accidentally in nature, low cost, high speed, small size, and radiation hardness. PCSS devices are candidates for an assortment of potential applications that require multi-kA switching of current. The key to increasing the switching capacity of PCSS devices to 5kV/5kA and higher is to distribute the current in multiple parallel line filaments triggered by an array of high-brightness line-shaped illuminators. Commercial mechanically-stacked edge-emitting lasers have been demonstrated to trigger multiple filaments, but they are difficult to scale and manufacture with the required uniformity. As a promising alternative to multiple discrete edge-emitting lasers, a single wafer of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) can be lithographically patterned to achieve the desired layout of parallel line-shaped emitters, in which adjacent lasers utilize identical semiconductor material and thereby achieve a degree of intrinsic optical uniformity. Under this LDRD project, we have fabricated arrays of uncoupled circular-aperture VCSELs to approximate a line-shaped illumination pattern, achieving optical fill factors ranging from 2% to 30%. We have applied these VCSEL arrays to demonstrate single and dual parallel line-filament triggering of PCSS devices. Moreover, we have developed a better understanding of the illumination requirements for stable triggering of multiple-filament PCSS devices using VCSEL arrays. We have found that reliable triggering of multiple filaments requires matching of the turn-on time of adjacent VCSEL line-shaped-arrays to within approximately 1 ns. Additionally, we discovered that reliable triggering of PCSS devices at low voltages requires more optical power than we obtained with our first generation of VCSEL arrays. A second generation of higher-power VCSEL arrays was designed and fabricated at the end of this LDRD project, and testing with PCSS devices is currently underway (as of September 2008).

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31 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2008-6428
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/1018477 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1018477
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc845144

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Nov. 28, 2016, 3:51 p.m.

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Roose, Lars D.; Hadley, G. Ronald; Mar, Alan; Serkland, Darwin Keith; Geib, Kent Martin; Sullivan, Charles Thomas et al. Final report on LDRD project : advanced optical trigger systems., report, September 1, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc845144/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.