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Physics and Applications of the Lock-on Effect

By: Helgeson, W.D.; Zutavern, F.J.; Loubriel, G.M.; Burke, T.; O'Malley, M.W.; McLaughlin, D.L.;

1991 / IEEE / 0-7803-0177-3


This item was taken from the IEEE Periodical ' Physics and Applications of the Lock-on Effect ' The lock-on effect is a high gain, high field switching mechanism that has been observed in GaAs and InP. This switching mode is exciting because the amount of light required to trigger it is small when compared to triggering the same switch at low fields. For this reason we can use laser diode arrays to trigger high voltages, currents and power. This paper will describe the lock-on effect, and our recent experiments to understand the effect. We will show that impact ionization from deep levels cannot account for the observed current densities, delays, and rise times unless a second mechanism is invoked. We will also describe our applications for laser diode array triggered lock-on switches, the best results that illustrate our potential for the application, and the studies carried out to improve the lifetime and current carrying capability of the switches.