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High power, high voltage, ultra-fast, UV triggered diamond switch

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation
3077 Teagarden Street San Leandro, CA 94577-5720
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: High power, high voltage, ultra-fast, UV triggered diamond switch
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: F33615-01-M-2148
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation (AASC) proposes to develop a new type of high voltage, high power diamond switch potentially capable of switching GW power levels at ~100 kV. The basic element of this switch is a thin disk of natural or CVD diamondthat supports up to 25 kV, is triggered into conduction by UV radiation, achieves rise/fall times <1 ns (limited mostly by the rise/fall times of the trigger) and conducts ~1 kA/cm2 at repetition rates ~10 MHz. This basic element may be combined in seriesto hold-off higher voltages and in parallel to carry higher currents. Our Phase I goal is to demonstrate a 25 kV/10 A unit module, followed by series/parallel combinations to achieve 100 kV/10 A or 25 kV/40 A switching. Such UV triggered switches could bethe key enabling technology for a variety of pulsed power applications that have had to rely either on bulky and unreliable gas switches or stacks of semiconductor switches in series. Our Phase I project aims to establish well founded limits to thecapabilities of the new diamond switch, in the context of competing technologies such as series stacks of Si IGBTs, light triggered GaAs switches and emerging SiC technologies.The research proposed here could lead to a family of new solid-state switchesthat will find widespread application in aerospace systems, military radar, power transmission in the grid, high speed rail traction, uninterruptible power supplies for semiconductor manufacturing and automobile manufacturing.

Principal Investigator:

Rahul Prasad
Principal Scientist

Business Contact:

Mahadevan Krishnan
Small Business Information at Submission:

2235 Polvorosa Ave, Suite 230 San Leandro, CA 94577

EIN/Tax ID: 943201700
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No