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The operation of a pulse-charged spark gap that is triggered by gallium arsenide (GaAs) photoconductive semiconductor switches (PCSSs) was investigated. By measuring the currents with the streamer discharge, we analyzed the mechanisms of breakdown between the semi-insulating GaAs PCSS and the spark gap. Two similar combination setups were studied by different gap structures. It was shown that the PCSS was a good candidate for generating high current (as high as 5.6 kA) or ultrafast pulse with 220-ps rise time and 400-ps full-width at half-maximum accompanied with good reproducibilities of waveforms.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2010