An Avalanching Optoelectronic Microwave Switch

Richard A. Kiehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A new optoelectronic microwave switching device is described. The device is composed of a semiconductor junction diode that is incorporated into a transmission line and illuminated with optical pulses from a semiconductor laser. Switching of microwave signals is achieved by changes in the RF impedance of the diode's high-field region resulting from an optically induced switching between low- and high-level avalanche states. Experimental results demonstrating the switching characteristics and speed of this device are presented along with a basic theory of operation. The ultimate capabilities of this device and its advantages over conventional p-i-n diode switches and other optoelectronic switching devices are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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