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Radio-Frequency Heating of GaAs and SiC Photoconductive Switch for High-Power Applications

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6 Author(s)
R. Gunda ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Missouri Univ., Columbia, MO ; D. S. Gleason ; K. Kelkar ; P. Kirawanich
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The response of a nonlinear opposed contact GaAs photoconductive switch, which is used in high-power microwave generation, was studied for high-power radio-frequency heating effects and compared with a linear-mode SiC switch. Current-controlled negative resistivity behavior was observed at elevated temperature in both cases. Better thermal conductivity and the absence of a heat sink result in a faster temperature increase and in local thermal carrier generation in SiC. Negative resistivity characteristics leading to unstable filamentation and thermal runaway are therefore more severe and occur at a lower bias in SiC as compared with a GaAs switch. To counter such effects, mechanisms to remove excess heat in switches in high-power application must be devised

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IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 5 )