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What is the difference between photoconductive and photovoltaic detectors?

What is the main difference between photoconductive (PC) and photovoltaic (PV) detectors? I notice that PC detectors are typically AC coupled (requiring
modulation of the light source to generate a signal) while PV detectors are typically DC coupled. I imagine this has to do with different 1/f noise
properties, and if that is the case then why do PC detectors have worse 1/f noise?

EDIT: I understand that PC detectors are operated in a reverse bias configuration while PV detectors are typically operated at zero bias. Both types of
detectors are typically amplified. However, the reverse biasing appears to lead to substantially worse noise at low frequencies in the PC case, and I am
wondering what the physical mechanism is that causes that.

References are much appreciated.

optics noise infrared-radiation

edited Jan 12 at 21:57 asked Jan 11 at 22:34
user181297
1 2

1 Answer

I think you are quite confused. In short:

Photoconductive (PC) = is connected to a power supply.
Photovoltaic (PV) = is NOT connected to any power supply.

PV means connecting the sensor directly to the meter. For example, a photodiode directly connected to
the amperimeter, nothing else. Usually we change the amperimeter for a resistance, in which we
measure the tension drop (it is equivalent).

Hoever, in PC, there IS a power supply in the circuit. For example, a source connected to the negative of
the photodiode, and then the positive plug of the diode connected to the resistence in which we
measure the voltage drop.

We do this because PC is linear and PV is not, and besides, PC is much more responsive than PV (in fact
PV's response is usually needed to be amplified).

answered Jan 11 at 22:55
FGSUZ
2,235 1 5 17

@user181297 You should edit your question to include this information. Otherwise we don't know the context of the question.
– garyp Jan 12 at 1:28

@garyp if you want to comment about the question, you should add the comment in the question, not in my answer haha. I
don't really get what you mean, though – FGSUZ Jan 12 at 22:18

I must have typed this in response to some other question, not recognizing that I was on the wrong page. At this time I have
no idea what I was talking about. :-) Sorry about that. – garyp Jan 13 at 4:08