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Diamond Fast Opening Breaking Switches

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG03-97ER82320
Agency Tracking Number: 37316
Amount: $74,989.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1997
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2235 Polvorosa Avenue Suite 230
San Leandr, CA 94577
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Rahul R. Prasad
 Principal Scientist
 (510) 483-4156
Business Contact
 Dr. Mahadevan Krishnan
Title: President
Phone: (510) 483-4156
Research Institution


Diamond Fast Opening Breaking Switches--Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation, 2235 Polvorosa Avenue, Suite 230, San Leandro, CA 94577-2249; (510) 483-4156
Dr. Rahul R. Prasad, Principal Investigator
Dr. Mahadevan Krishnan, Business Official
DOE Grant No. DE-FG03-97ER82320
Amount: $74,989

Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation will develop a fast-opening breaking switch to improve the heating of plasma in a fusion reactor based on radiation-induced conductivity in diamond. For radiofrequency heating of fusion plasmas, breaking switches must conduct high currents and hold off very high voltages (approximately 100 kilovolts) when opened rapidly in inductive energy store circuits. Solid-state breaking switches presently available consist of stacks of gate turnoff thyristors connected in series since a single thyristor can hold off only 2-5 kilovolts. Such an arrangement is complicated because of the requirement of floating gate turnoff circuitry. This project aims to develop a single diamond switch that could replace a large series stack of silicon-junction switches. During Phase I, a proof-of-principle switch will be constructed to hold off 10-kilovolts when open and conduct at least 1 kiloampere per square centimeter when closed. This switch will close upon the application of an electron beam trigger and open when the beam is extinguished. After the concept validation in Phase I, a full-scale prototype capable of holding off approximately 100 kilovolts and conducting 1-10 kiloamperes will be validated in Phase II.

Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: This class of switches will find potential application in a variety of switching applications including: Fast-opening breaking switches for radiofrequency heating of fusion plasmas; solid-state circuit breakers for the power distribution industry; fast-opening switches for inductive energy store; and x-ray, electron and ion beam accelerators. The related closing switches will find application in power distribution, electric aircraft, ships and vehicles, to name but a few applications.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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