A photoconductive semiconductor switch with tailored doping profile zones beneath and extending laterally from the electrical contacts to the device. The zones are of sufficient depth and lateral extent to isolate the contacts from damage caused by the high current filaments that are created in the device when it is turned on. The zones may be formed by etching depressions into the substrate, then conducting epitaxial regrowth in the depressions with material of the desired doping profile. They may be formed by surface epitaxy. They may also be formed by deep diffusion processes. The zones act to reduce the energy density at the contacts by suppressing collective impact ionization and formation of filaments near the contact and by reducing current intensity at the contact through enhanced current spreading within the zones.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.