Wide Bandgap High Power Optically Triggered Switch

Period of Performance: 05/30/2003 - 09/30/2005


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tech Explore, LLC
5273 College Corner Pike, Number 12
Oxford, OH 45056
Principal Investigator


A high speed, high voltage, high current Photoconductive Semiconductor Switch (PCSS) was fabricated and tested during Phase I, demonstrating the switching of currents of up to 50 A at 1 kV for less than 10 nS, with on/off current switching ratios of 1011:1 and more. The Phase II project will build upon this success, with the goal of producing packaged PCSS capable of switching 100A at 10KV for pulse times of a few nS. During this proposed program, the following tasks will be performed: a) characterize conduction, leakage and photoconductivity of existing and new devices, b) develop processes and procedures for growth of passivating layers on SiC surfaces, such as epitaxial AlN, c) characterize current filamentation and develop processes and procedures for improved ohmic contacts to SiC substrates, and d) design and optimize packaging for devices to produce robust packages, immune to environmental stresses and capable of efficiently dissipating heat generated during operation. The technology and products developed under this SBIR program have wide applications including: RADAR pulses for buried object detection, high power sparks for jet engine ignition, pulsed electron beams for directed energy weapons and food sterilization, and generation of air plasmas for flow control and biomedical applications.