The delay time defined as the time interval between the beginning of optica
l illumination and the onset of switching in photocurrent in gallium arseni
de (GaAs) high-power photoconductive switches is studied on the basis of el
ectroabsorption caused by absorption edge shifting due to bandgap narrowing
, The influences of the initial open-state held, the laser wavelength and t
he temperature are given. The results show it is the reflection and the tra
nsmission of the switch semiconductor slab indicated by absorption fraction
express the absorption rate of the illumination energy by the switch.