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Device Technology Investigation: Subsystems Packaging Study: Feasibility of PCSS - Based Pulser for Highly Portable Platforms

Description: This report summarizes an investigation of the use of high-gain Photo-Conductive Semiconductor Switch (PCSS) technology for a deployable impulse source. This includes a discussion of viability, packaging, and antennas. High gain GaAs PCSS-based designs offer potential advantages in terms of compactness, repetition rate, and cost.
Date: July 1, 2002
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced laser diodes for sensing applications

Description: The authors have developed diode lasers for short pulse duration and high peak pulse power in the 0.01--100.0 m pulsewidth regime. A primary goal of the program was producing up to 10 W while maintaining good far-field beam quality and ease of manufacturability for low cost. High peak power, 17 W, picosecond pulses have been achieved by gain switching of flared geometry waveguide lasers and amplifiers. Such high powers area world record for this type of diode laser. The light emission pattern from diode lasers is of critical importance for sensing systems such as range finding and chemical detection. They have developed a new integrated optical beam transformer producing rib-waveguide diode lasers with a symmetric, low divergence, output beam and increased upper power limits for irreversible facet damage.
Date: January 1, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report of LDRD project : compact ultrabright multikilovolt x-ray sources for advanced materials studies, 3D nanoimaging, and attosecond x-ray technology.

Description: Experimental evidence and corresponding theoretical analyses have led to the conclusion that the system composed of Xe hollow atom states, that produce a characteristic Xe(L) spontaneous emission spectrum at 1 {at} 2.9 {angstrom} and arise from the excitation of Xe clusters with an intense pulse of 248 nm radiation propagating in a self-trapped plasma channel, closely represents the ideal situation sought for amplification in the multikilovolt region. The key innovation that is central to all aspects of the proposed work is the controlled compression of power to the level ({approx} 10{sup 20} W/cm{sup 3}) corresponding to the maximum achieved by thermonuclear events. Furthermore, since the x-ray power that is produced appears in a coherent form, an entirely new domain of physical interaction is encountered that involves states of matter that are both highly excited and highly ordered. Moreover, these findings lead to the concept of 'photonstaging', an idea which offers the possibility of advancing the power compression by an additional factor of {approx} 10{sup 9} to {approx} 10{sup 29} W/cm{sup 3}. In this completely unexplored regime, g-ray production ({h_bar}{omega}{sub {gamma}} {approx} 1 MeV) is expected to be a leading process. A new technology for the production of very highly penetrating radiation would then be available. The Xe(L) source at {h_bar}{omega}{sub x} {approx} 4.5 keV can be applied immediately to the experimental study of many aspects of the coupling of intense femtosecond x-ray pulses to materials. In a joint collaboration, the UIC group and Sandia plan to explore the following areas. These are specifically, (1) anomalous electromagnetic coupling to solid state materials, (2) 3D nanoimaging of solid matter and hydrated biological materials (e.g. interchromosomal linkers and actin filaments in muscle), and (3) EMP generation with attosecond x-rays.
Date: February 1, 2005
Creator: Loubriel, Guillermo Manuel; Rhodes, Charles Kirkham (University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL) & Mar, Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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. ...
Date: May 30, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High Peak Power Gain Switched Flared Waveguide Lasers

Description: We gain-switch flared waveguide lasers to obtain 14.5 W peak powers and 0.5 nJ pulse energies with laser structures compatible with the generation of diffraction-limited beams. The results are in excellent agreement with a microscopic laser model.
Date: August 5, 1999
Creator: Chow, W.W.; Indik, R.; Koch, S.W.; Mar, Alan, Vawter, G. Allen & Moloney, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Extremely high frequency RF effects on electronics.

Description: The objective of this work was to understand the fundamental physics of extremely high frequency RF effects on electronics. To accomplish this objective, we produced models, conducted simulations, and performed measurements to identify the mechanisms of effects as frequency increases into the millimeter-wave regime. Our purpose was to answer the questions, 'What are the tradeoffs between coupling, transmission losses, and device responses as frequency increases?', and, 'How high in frequency do effects on electronic systems continue to occur?' Using full wave electromagnetics codes and a transmission-line/circuit code, we investigated how extremely high-frequency RF propagates on wires and printed circuit board traces. We investigated both field-to-wire coupling and direct illumination of printed circuit boards to determine the significant mechanisms for inducing currents at device terminals. We measured coupling to wires and attenuation along wires for comparison to the simulations, looking at plane-wave coupling as it launches modes onto single and multiconductor structures. We simulated the response of discrete and integrated circuit semiconductor devices to those high-frequency currents and voltages, using SGFramework, the open-source General-purpose Semiconductor Simulator (gss), and Sandia's Charon semiconductor device physics codes. This report documents our findings.
Date: January 1, 2012
Creator: Loubriel, Guillermo Manuel; Vigliano, David; Coleman, Phillip Dale; Williams, Jeffery Thomas; Wouters, Gregg A.; Bacon, Larry Donald et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Longevity improvement of optically activated, high gain GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches

Description: The longevity of high gain GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS) has been extended to over 100 million pulses at 23A, and over 100 pulses at 1kA. This is achieved by improving the ohmic contacts by doping the semi-insulating GaAs underneath the metal, and by achieving a more uniform distribution of contact wear across the entire switch by distributing the trigger light to form multiple filaments. This paper will compare various approaches to doping the contacts, including ion implantation, thermal diffusion, and epitaxial growth. The device characterization also includes examination of the filament behavior using open-shutter, infra-red imaging during high gain switching. These techniques provide information on the filament carrier densities as well as the influence that the different contact structures and trigger light distributions have on the distribution of the current in the devices. This information is guiding the continuing refinement of contact structures and geometries for further improvements in switch longevity.
Date: March 2, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Photoconductive Semiconductor Switch Technology for Short Pulse Electromagnetics and Lasers

Description: High gain photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS) are being used to produce high power electromagnetic pulses foc (1) compact, repetitive accelerators, (2) ultra-wide band impulse sources, (3) precision gas switch triggers, (4) optically-activated firesets, and (5) high power optical pulse generation and control. High power, sub-nanosecond optical pulses are used for active optical sensors such as compact optical radars and range-gated hallistic imaging systems. Following a brief introduction to high gain PCSS and its general applications, this paper will focus on PCSS for optical pulse generation and control. PCSS technology can be employed in three distinct approaches to optical pulse generation and control: (1) short pulse carrier injection to induce gain-switching in semiconductor lasers, (2) electro-optical Q-switching, and (3) optically activated Q-switching. The most significant PCSS issues for these applications are switch rise time, jitter, and longevity. This paper will describe both the requirements of these applications and the most recent results from PCSS technology. Experiments to understand and expand the limitations of high gain PCSS will also be described.
Date: August 5, 1999
Creator: Denison, Gary J.; Helgeson, Wesley D.; Hjalmarson, Harold P.; Loubriel, Guillermo M.; Mar, Alan; O'Malley, Martin W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Temporal switching jitter in photoconductive switches

Description: This paper reports on a recent comparison made between the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) gallium arsenide, optically-triggered switch test configuration and the Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) gallium arsenide, optically-triggered switch test configuration. The purpose of these measurements was to compare the temporal switch jitter times. It is found that the optical trigger laser characteristics are dominant in determining the PCSS jitter.
Date: April 13, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Semiconductor e-h plasma lasers

Description: A new type of GaAs laser is based on the electron-hole plasma in a current filament and is not limited in size by p-n junctions. High energy, electrically controlled, compact, short-pulse lasers are useful for: active optical sensors (LADAR, range imaging, imaging through clouds, dust, smoke, or turbid water), direct optical ignition of fuels and explosives, optical recording, and micro-machining. The authors present a new class of semiconductor laser that can potentially produce much more short pulse energy than conventional (injection-pumped) semiconductor lasers (CSL) because this new laser is not limited in volume or aspect ratio by the depth of a p-n junction. They have tested current filament semiconductor lasers (CFSL) that have produced 75nJ of 890nm radiation in 1.5ns (50W peak), approximately ten times more energy than ISL. These lasers are created from current filaments in semi-insulating GaAs and, in contrast to CSL, are not based on current injection. Instead, low-field avalanche carrier generation produces a high-density, charge-neutral plasma channel with the required carrier density distribution for lasing. They have observed filaments as long as 3.4cm and several hundred microns in diameter in the high gain GaAs photoconductive switches. Their smallest dimension can be more than 100 times the carrier diffusion length in GaAs. This paper will report spectral narrowing, lasing thresholds, beam divergence, temporal narrowing, and energies which imply lasing for several configurations of CFSL. It will also discuss active volume scaling based on recent high current tests.
Date: June 6, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Doped Contacts for High-Longevity Optically Activated, High Gain GaAs Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches

Description: The longevity of high gain GaAs photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSS) has been extended to over 100 million pulses. This was achieved by improving the ohmic contacts through the incorporation of a doped layer that is very effective in the suppression of filament formation, alleviating current crowding. Damage-free operation is now possible with virtually infinite expected lifetime at much higher current levels than before. The inherent damage-free current capacity of the bulk GaAs itself depends on the thickness of the doped layers and is at least 100A for a dopant diffusion depth of 4pm. The contact metal has a different damage mechanism and the threshold for damage ({approx}40A) is not further improved beyond a dopant diffusion depth of about 2{micro}m. In a diffusion-doped contact switch, the switching performance is not degraded when contact metal erosion occurs, unlike a switch with conventional contacts. This paper will compare thermal diffusion and epitaxial growth as approaches to doping the contacts. These techniques will be contrasted in terms of the fabrication issues and device characteristics.
Date: December 17, 1999
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report on LDRD project : advanced optical trigger systems.

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 ...
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Roose, Lars D.; Hadley, G. Ronald; Mar, Alan; Serkland, Darwin Keith; Geib, Kent Martin; Sullivan, Charles Thomas et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department