The characteristic features of a de discharge genera.ted between parallel plate electrodes and especially the discharge stabilization by the GaAs semiconducting cathode in such a system are studied. The cathode was irradiated on the back-side with IR light in a particular wavelength range that was used to control the photoconductivity of the material. The semiconductor material was found to stabilize the discharge. The current-voltage and radiation-voltage characteristics of the gas discharge cell with a semiconducting cathode were obtained experimentally. An investigation of the effect of the voltage amplitude on the dynamics of transient processes in the plane semiconductor-discharge gap structure was made for explanation of the light intensity and current decay. Expressions are obtained for the photoelectric gain.