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A novel photoconductive switch is proposed. The geometry of this ultrafast switch allows the rising edge of an ultrashort optical pulse to both turn on and turn off a terahertz electrical transient, making the device independent of the substrate material and charge carrier lifetime. A lumped-element model is used to analyze the operation of the switch. The model employed describes the photoexcitation of both a microstrip photoconductive switch layout and a coplanar photoconductive switch layout. It is found that both of the layouts are capable of achieving subpicosecond switching, with the coplanar layout offering greater ease of fabrication and device tunability.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2000