A Novel High Power Optothyristor Based on AlGaAs/GaAs for Pulsed Power-Switching Applications

Jian H. Zhao, Maurice Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Double-side molecular beam epitaxial growth on a thick LEC-grown semi-insulating (SI) GaAs wafer has been used to demonstrate a novel high power optothyristor for pulsed power-switching applications. The optothyristor has a P+N-SI-PN+thyristor-like structure with the capital P and N stand for the wider bandgap optical window material, AlGaAs, and the SI stands for a 650 pm SI-GaAs substrate. With the “insertion" of the SI-GaAs bulk material into the conventional P+NPN+ thyristor structure and the use of wider bandgap AlGaAs, the device has achieved a record high performance compared to the existing GaAs or AlGaAs/GaAs based epitaxial thyristors. The performance of the optothyristors under forward bias has been characterized, including 1) the low field dynamic current-voltage characteristics to show post-triggering carrier injections, 2) the switched-current waveforms with varying device blocking voltage and from which the turn-on speed di/dt, and 3) the dependence of the switched-current amplitude on the laser triggering position.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-825
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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