A switch element has been developed so that a kilovolt step voltage should be supplied to a 50Ω transmission line with a subnanosecond rise time. The element is of silicon substrate with high purity and a pair of electrodes is attached by the evaporation process. The switch action is performed by the photoconductivity produced by the laser light pulse. This paper deals with a preliminary analysis, manufacturing processes and experimental results of the
optoelectronic switch. A performance of 320V output with less than 4 ns risetime was obtained with sufficient persistence for more than 2×10(5) pulse shots. This switch was successfully applied to an optical waveform monitor for laser light pulses giving a resolution less than 2 ns.