What is photoconductivity? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

photoconductivity

Part of the Electronics glossary:

See also photosensor .

Photoconductivity is the tendency of a substance to conduct electricity to an extent that depends on the intensity of light-radiant energy (usually infrared transmission or visible light) striking the surface of a sample. Most semiconductor materials have this property.

When there is no illumination, a photoconductive sample has a conductance that depends on its dimensions, on the specific material(s) from which it is made, and on the temperature. In most cases, the greater the radiant energy of a specific wavelength that strikes the surface, the higher the conductance of the sample becomes, up to a certain maximum. When the maximum conductance is reached for a particular sample, further increases in irradiation produce no change in the conductance.

Photoconductive materials are used in the manufacture of photoelectric devices. Typical photoconductive substances consist of germanium, gallium, selenium, or silicon with impurities, also known as dopants , added. Other common materials include metal oxides and sulfides.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • aluminum battery

    - Aluminum batteries run longer on a charge than lithium ion batteries and are safer in use. Stanford researchers have created an aluminum-graphite battery for mobile devices, the electric grid and f... (WhatIs.com)

  • optoisolator (optical coupler or optocoupler)

    - An optoisolator (also optical coupler or optocoupler) is a component that uses light to transfer electrical signals between circuits to keep them electrically isolated from each other, preventing s... (SearchNetworking.com)

  • ampere hour (Ah or amp hour)

    - An ampere hour (abbreviated Ah, or sometimes amp hour) is the amount of energy charge in a battery that will allow one ampere of current to flow for one hour. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Electronics

    - Terms related to electronics, including definitions about electrical components and words and phrases about computers, laptops parts, digital cameras, televisions and home appliances.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About photoconductivityPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.