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Pulsed power that is robust, repetitive and lightweight has remained an elusive goal,
notwithstanding tremendous advances in solid state circuit technology and modern innovations
in fabrication technologies. Remarkable advances in optoelectronic devices, electronic device
design, growth, and performance offer the prospect of new approaches to architectures and
components for pulsed and repetitively pulsed power for high power applications.
Research at USC includes a multidisciplinary attack on the fundamental issues that inhibit
implementation of smaller, compact, lightweight pulsed power. In one such approach we explore
new methodologies for III-V device switching offering true optical hybrid circuits with vastly
reduced size and weight, where high voltage scaling is achieved by previously unavailable
technology that enables efficient methods for scaling circuits and switching components to
high peak voltage and power. In a parallel approach that shows tremendous short-term promise,
super-emissive gas-phase switches offer a breakthrough potential in technology that enables
very compact pulsed power generators, and will be implemented in energy-efficient circuitry
for high voltage, high current pulsed loads with low load impedance.