Effects of 1-MeV neutron irradiation on the operation of a bistable optically controlled semiconductor switch (BOSS)

Stoudt, D.C, Ralf Peter Brinkmann, Roush, R.A, Mazzola, M.S, Zutavern, F.J, Loubriel, G.M

Trans. on IEEE , Volume 41, Issue 6, 913 - 919


Recent subnanosecond-opening results of the semiconductor switch (BOSS) bistable optically controlled are presented. The processes of persistent photoconductivity followed by photo-quenching have been demonstrated in copper-compensated, silicon-doped, semi-insulating gallium arsenide (GaAs:Si:Cu). These processes allow a switch to be developed that can be closed by the application of one laser pulse (Lambda=1.06 um) and opened by the application of a second laser pulse with a wavelength equal to twice that of the first laser. The opening phase is a two-step process which relies initially on the absorption of the 2-13-um laser and finally on the recombination of electrons in the conduction band with holes in the valance band. The second step requires a sufficient concentration of recombination centers in the material for opening to occur in the subnanosecond regime. This report discusses the effects of 1-MeV neutron irradiation on the BOSS material for the purpose of recombination center generation. Initial experiments indicated a reduction of the recombination time from several nanoseconds down to about 250 ps. Both experimental and theoretical results are presented.


tags: absorption, conduction band, gallium arsenide, hole, laser pulse, neutron irradiation, opening phase, persistent photoconductivity, photo-quenching, recombination, semiconductor switch, subnanosecond, valance band