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System and method of modulating electrical signals using photoconductive wide bandgap semiconductors as variable resistors

United States Patent

October 22, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A system and method for producing modulated electrical signals. The system uses a variable resistor having a photoconductive wide bandgap semiconductor material construction whose conduction response to changes in amplitude of incident radiation is substantially linear throughout a non-saturation region to enable operation in non-avalanche mode. The system also includes a modulated radiation source, such as a modulated laser, for producing amplitude-modulated radiation with which to direct upon the variable resistor and modulate its conduction response. A voltage source and an output port, are both operably connected to the variable resistor so that an electrical signal may be produced at the output port by way of the variable resistor, either generated by activation of the variable resistor or propagating through the variable resistor. In this manner, the electrical signal is modulated by the variable resistor so as to have a waveform substantially similar to the amplitude-modulated radiation.
Harris; John Richardson (Patterson, CA), Caporaso; George J. (Livermore, CA), Sampayan; Stephen E. (Manteca, CA)
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (Livermore, CA)
12/ 426,143
April 17, 2009
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.