Optical EngineeringNew light modulation device: optical transistor
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The plasma reflectivity edge in the infrared reflectivity spectrum measured on a narrow-gap semiconductor HgCdTe has been found to be very sensitive to the variation of carrier concentration under certain circumstance, based on which a new way of infrared modulation is studied, where the estimated modulation gain in power is impressively high. Thus, infrared radiation in far- and mid-infrared can be effectively modulated by electromagnetic waves with shorter wavelengths, and hence a less sensitive room-temperature infrared detector could be as sensitive as the existing cooled infrared detectors. The suggested new optoelectronic device, which can be termed an optical transistor, working with light beams instead of electronic currents, is quite promising for fiber communication and infrared detection as well as for investigating the relaxation processes of excess carriers in semiconductors. The detectivity for the plasma-edge detector, which is a detector equipped with an optical transistor, is calculated.