Date of Award

Spring 1989

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Electrical Engineering

Committee Director

Vishnu K. Lakdawala

Committee Member

Karl Schoenbach

Committee Member

Sacharia Albin

Committee Member

Wynford Harries


A model for a bulk GaAs photoconductive switch has been developed and solved to determine the performance of the device in closing and opening switch applications. The GaAs material has been characterized by deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS). Two electron traps (EL2 and EL5) and one hole trap (CuB} have been detected and were included in the model. Simulation studies are performed on several GaAs switch systems composed of different combinations and density of deep levels to investigate the influence of deep traps in a photoconductive switch system. The electron occupancy of each deep trap is traced in the simulation to investigate the roles of each trap during the turn-on and turn-off phase of the photoconductive switch. The computed results show that a small concentration of recombination centers in the switch material drastically affects the turn-off performance of the switch.