Methods, devices and systems enhance the operation and lifespan of photoconductive switches. A photoconductive switch is described that includes a photoconductive material with a first face and a second face, as well as a first contact and a second contact that are positioned above a top surface and below a bottom surface of the photoconductive material, respectively. The first and the second contacts enable establishment of an electric field across the photoconductive material, where the electric field includes enhancement regions around the periphery of the first and second contacts. Further, the photoconductive material is dimensioned relative to the first and the second contacts, as well as first radiation extent and divergence, to allow a first incident radiation that enters the photoconductive material through the first face to propagate through the photoconductive material toward the second face and reach one or more regions of electric field enhancement with substantially reduced intensity.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.