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Light activated solid-state opening switches

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5 Author(s)
R. A. Petr ; W.J. Schafer Associates, Chelmsford, MA, USA ; G. I. Kachen ; J. P. Reilly ; R. B. Schaefer
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Light-activated cryogenic silicon opening switches were designed and tested in an inductive power circuit. Current interruption times of 20 μS at current densities of 75 A/cm2 were demonstrated with flashlamp optical sources at 77 K. Photoswitch measurements and modeling show that electrical contacts, optical trigger, and window design are critical parameters in optimizing opening switch on-stage current and voltage commutation. Technology paths have been identified for increasing photoswitch power ratings and include room-temperature operation using laser diode arrays. The demonstrated high average power operation and power density capability of light-activated opening switches make them a viable switch technology for developing compact inductive power systems

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )