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Optical Engineering

Photoconductive Detectors Employing An Optically Induced Nonlinear Resistance
Author(s): A. B. Dean; C. T. Elliott; A. M. White
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Paper Abstract

A new mode of operation of photoconductive detectors in which a nonlinear current-voltage characteristic is induced by illumination is described. Outputs at harmonic frequencies can be obtained from devices biased with alternating current or at the modulation frequency of a modulated, alternating bias. Several different ways to achieve the nonlinearity are described, one of which uses conventional detector structures. The advantages of this mode of operation are that the large bias-voltage pedestal, normally associated with long-wavelength photoconductive detectors, can be separated from the photo-signal by simple electrical filters and that the problem of flicker noise, in both the detector and the following electronics, is considerably reduced. Photoconductive devices thus become competitive with photodiodes, which may be more difficult to produce with ideal performance and stable characteristics, in detect-ing radiation with very low modulation frequencies. Possible applications for the device may be in slow, parallel-scanned linear arrays; in "staring" arrays; in ultrasensitive detectors employing long integration times; and in position-sensitive, point-source detectors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1985
PDF: 4 pages
Opt. Eng. 24(4) 244668 doi: 10.1117/12.7973548
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 24, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
A. B. Dean, Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (England)
C. T. Elliott, Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (England)
A. M. White, Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (England)


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