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6 April 1988 Electron-Beam Controlled Semiconductor Switches
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Proceedings Volume 0871, Space Structures, Power, and Power Conditioning; (1988)
Event: 1988 Los Angeles Symposium: O-E/LASE '88, 1988, Los Angeles, CA, United States
A high power closing and opening bulk semiconductor switch is discussed where a high energy electron- beam (e- beam) is used to control the switch conductivity. The electrons are injected through a contact into the cathode region of a direct semiconductor switch. They generate a high concentration of electron-hole pairs over a distance of several micrometers to several hundred micrometers, depending on the electron energy. Ionization of the bulk of the semiconductor is provided by recombination radiation and X-ray Bremsstrahlung. The optical generation of an electron-hole plasma in the bulk region of the semiconductor switch overcomes the space charge limitation on the switch current and therefore allows external control of high current densities. Current and voltage measurements of e-beam irradiated semi-insulating GaAs samples were performed. A change of resistance of more than three orders of magnitude was obtained with e- beam current densities of some tens of mA/cm2, corresponding to current gains (switch current/e-beam current) of up to 600. Closing and opening times of less than 50 ns seem to be achievable with these GaAs switches. An improvement in current gain by more than an order of magnitude can be obtained by proper doping of the cathode region of the semiconductor switch.
© (1988) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
K. II. Schoenbach, V. K. Lakdawala, K. B.J. Schmitt, and T. J. Powers "Electron-Beam Controlled Semiconductor Switches", Proc. SPIE 0871, Space Structures, Power, and Power Conditioning, (6 April 1988);


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