You are on page 1of 8

Types of Detectors

heterodyne detectors, spectrometers Photon detectors (altering the QM energy of an electron by absorbing a photon. Best when the energies of the photons are large compared to the thermal energy of the electrons) Silicon devices cannot respond to wavelengths longer then energies below the silicon bandgap. Thermal detectors (convert to incoming photon stream to heat) Bolometers, Wave detectors (producing an oscillating electric of magnetic field, especially usefull for longer wavelengths) since these photons have

Silicium Crystals
A crystal can be seen as a mega molecule. A silicon atom has an electron configuration. When we put to silicon atoms together, the energy states split when the wavefunctions begin to overlap. As more atoms are added more energy levels become available. These levels are so closely packed that they form a band. The preferred interatomic spacing by the silicium atoms is , note that this means that the 3s and 3p orbits overlap. This causes energies in the crossover region to be forbidden. In some way -hybrid orbitals are created, four (with the lowest energy) binding a silicium atom to its neigbouring atoms. At zero temperature all electrons will be in the valence band, causing silicon to be a good insulator since there is no room for the electrons to move around since all states are occupied. (in a typical insulator all electrons are in the valence bands and the band gap is large compared to the thermal energy of the electrons). But as temperature increases electrons can (by absorbing a phonon or photon) move to the conduction bands, making room to move and making (intrinsic) semiconductors a better conductor with increasing temperature. For silicium the Fermi level falls midway between the valence and conduction bands. In order to be able to jump the bandgap the phonon/photon should have an energy larger then a wavelength of 1,1um.

Extrinsic Semiconductors
Semiconductors can be doped with impurities to add more electrons to the conduction bands or ho p-type, adding impurities to create holes with an energy slightly above the valence band, creating empty acceptor states, less energy is needed for electrons to move to these holes n-type, adding extra electrons with an energy slightly below the conduction band. These electrons can therefore easily jump to the conduction band. This way longer wavelengths can be detected. The number of impurities varies between 1 in to .

Photoconductors and the MOS Capacitor

If there is a constant voltage over a piece of semiconductor material, then the current will be proportional to the number of absorbed photons. However, at a certain voltage a breakdown will occur, electrons will be accelerated to speeds high enough to promote other electrons to the conduction band when they collide, causing an avalanche of electrons to flow through.

MOS (Metal-oxide-semiconductor) capacitor The positive voltage on the metal on the right distorts the energies of the bottom and top of the gap. The electric field forces electrons to move to the right and holes to the left. Since the holes will move to the ground the MOS capacitor can this way store the electrons that are created. After a large number of electrons is stored in the depletion region the electric field created by these electrons will counteract on the voltage difference applied to the MOS capacitor. The MOS capacitor will be satisfied, and no more electrons can be stored (it will be more likely that electrons and holes will recombine, emitting phonons).

PN-junction Electrons on the n-side will move across the junction and drop in the holes on the p-side. This leaves the n-side more positively charged and the pside more negatively charged. Creating an electric field which prevents the moving charges from crossing the depletion region and recombining. The potential difference brings the Fermi Energy throughout the crystal on the same level. Applying a positive current to the p side will reduce the internal electric field and allow positive particles to cross the junction. So a current will flow from p to n. Connecting a negative voltage to the p side will only increase the electric field. Current will therefore only flow in one direction through a pn-junction (this is a diode). Each absorption of a photon causes the creation of a conduction electron and valence hole. The electron-hole pairs if created near the depletion region are immediately swept apart by the strong electric field. This decreasing the internal electric field. (by adding more conduction electrons a diode will have less resistance when light shines on it). PIN diode adding intrinsic (undoped) silicon between the n and p material to increase the size of the depletion region. Avalanche photodiode

Shottky photodiode -

The lack of charge carriers means that the depletion region has a very high electrical resistance.

The CCD (charge coupled device)

Serial register The lectrons have to move from one capactor to another. This is done by manipulating the potential well that stores the electrons

Radio Antennae

S/N ratio, instrumentation sensitivities The Quantum Efficientcy . The Quantum Yield is the number of detection events per incident photon (e.g. the production of an electron-hole pair, usually depends on the energy of the photon).

For a photon counting device there is an uncertainty inherent in measuring the number of photons. The detective quantum efficiency (DQE) describes the departure of a real detector from perfection ( ( ) )

is a fictitious number of photons that a perfect detector would have to count to produce

Linearity - For an ideal detector the output signal would be directly proportional to the input illumination. However, at lower light levels a detector may not respond at all while it can saturate at very large inputs. Hysteresis detector instability where the detector response depends on its illumination history.

Nyquist theorem the sampling frequency of a waveform should be greater than two times the highest frequency present in the wave (therefore pixels should have a size of half the width of the point-spread function).

Adaptive Optics Atmospheric properties