Modeling of electron-beam-controlled semiconductor switches

Ralf Peter Brinkmann

J. Appl. Phys. 68, 318 (1990)


The subject of this paper is the mathematical modeling of a recently proposed class of electron-beam-controlled high-power semiconductor switches that are able to overcome the space-charge limitation of conventional electron bombarded semiconductor devices by utilizing the secondary ionization effects of cathodoluminiscence and bremsstrahlung. Current densities of several kA/cm2 at forward voltages some 10 V can be controlled with an electron beam of 100 keV and 1 A/cm2; holdoff voltages of more than 100 kV/cm and dark currents as small as 10 uA/cm2 are possible. The concept has several possible applications: Its fast and repetitive closing and opening under load makes it suitable for inductive energy storage applications; its linear characteristics suggests a use as a high-power modulation device.


tags: bremsstrahlung, cathodoluminiscence, dark current, high-power semiconductor switches, holdoff voltage, mathematical modeling, secondary ionization effects, space-charge limitation