Reverse-biased performance of a molecular-beam-epitaxial-grown AlGaAs/GaAs high-power optothyristor for pulsed power-switching applications

J. H. Zhao*, T. Burke, M. Weiner, Albert Chin, J. M. Ballingall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The reverse-biased performance of a molecular-beam-epitaxy-grown high-power optothyristor has been systematically characterized for pulsed power-switching applications. The device has a P+N-SI-PN+ thyristor-like structure with the bipolar junctions formed by AlGaAs. The semi-insulating (SI) GaAs used is liquid-encapsulated-Czochralski grown, undoped, and 650 μm in thickness. It is found that the reverse-biased optothyristor can be triggered by a light-emitting diode operated at 10-5 W, and miniature semiconductor lasers can trigger the switch with 132 A current using only a 1-mm-diam optical aperture. The reverse switching di/dt and the maximum peak current are reported as a function of blocking voltage. The effects of bipolar junctions on both sides of the SI-GaAs are also reported by comparing the bulk photoconductive current with the optothyristor switched current. It is shown that a laser beam of 0.05 μJ can be used to trigger on and switch about the same current as a 0.3 μJ laser beam, suggesting the possibility of integrating miniature semiconductor lasers and the optothyristors on the same chip to form a portable, compact, high-power solid-state pulser.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5225-5230
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume74
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1993

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