Optically Activated Switch.
Final technical rept. 1 Apr 74-1 Feb 78,
WESTINGHOUSE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER PITTSBURGH PA
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There has been a growing need for improved switches for very high energy pulsed power systems. Conventional switches such as thyratons, spark gaps, and ignitrons have deficiencies in one or more of the desired parameters. A new solid state device, the Laser Activated Silicon Switch LASS, appears to have the potential of meeting simultaneously all of the desired parameters including life and reliability of an extremely fast, high power, pulsed switch. The LASS is a silicon pnpn structure similar to an electrically gated thyristor, but it is triggered by a beam from a NdYAG laser. The laser trigger causes the device to turn on orders of magnitude faster than does an electrically gated device. This report describes the development and experimental verification of an analytic model of a high power LASS. Switches were fabricated and tested that achieved dIdt values greater than 40000 Amicrosec to peak currents of 25000 A for a pulse width of 40 microsec. It is concluded that the LASS indeed has the potential to meet the needs for a pulsed power switch, but considerable research and development work is required. Recommendations are given for future work. Author
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment