A photoconductive switch is formed of a substrate that has a central portion of SiC or other photoconductive material and an outer portion of cvd-diamond or other suitable material surrounding the central portion. Conducting electrodes are formed on opposed sides of the substrate, with the electrodes extending beyond the central portion and the edges of the electrodes lying over the outer portion. Thus any high electric fields produced at the edges of the electrodes lie outside of and do not affect the central portion, which is the active switching element. Light is transmitted through the outer portion to the central portion to actuate the switch.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.