Electro-Optic Surface Field Imaging System
ROCHESTER UNIV NY LAB FOR LASER ENERGETICS
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The use of photoconductive semiconductor switches in pulsed-power applications has become more popular in recent years. These switches are useful primarily for two reasons speed and high voltage capability. The simultaneous requirements of speed and high voltage can place narrow constraints on photoconductive switch contact design. For high speed, switch contacts must be narrowly spaced. To hold off high voltage, contacts must be more widely spaced. Optimizing for speed and voltage requirements results in significant electric fields between switch electrodes. Pulsed power switches may have relatively large contact separations, but are required to hold off very large voltages. Field strengths of 100 kV em between contacts are typical. Surface breakdown is the limiting factor in the operation of such switches, as high voltage switches will break down preferentially along the surface between the electrodes. The need to keep surface electric fields below the threshold where surface breakdown will occur places a limit on the maximum voltage at which a switch can operate.
- Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices
- Electricity and Magnetism