Photon Detectors

  • Manijeh Razeghi


In the previous Chapter, the basic concepts of photodetectors were outlined.Furthermore, thermal detectors and the bolometer, specifically, were described in detail. In photon detectors, incident photons interact with the electrons in the material and change the electronic charge distribution. This perturbation of the charge distribution generates a current or a voltage that can be measured by an electrical circuit. Because the photon-electron interaction is “instantaneous”, the response speed of photon detectors is much higher than that of thermal detectors. Indeed, by contrast to thermal detectors, quantum or photon detectors respond to incident radiation through the excitation of electrons into a non-equilibrium state. The mechanisms of electron excitation are shown in Fig. 9.1.


Focal Plane Array Photon Detector Schottky Contact Avalanche Photodiode Thermal Detector 
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Further reading

  1. Dereniak, E.L. and Crowe, D.G., Optical Radiation Detectors, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1984.Google Scholar
  2. Dereniak, EX., and Boreman, G.D., Infrared Detectors and Systems, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1996.Google Scholar
  3. Holst, G.C., CCD Arrays, Cameras and Displays, Second Edition, SPIE Optical Engineering Press, Bellingham, WA, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. Leigh, W.B., Devices for Optoelectronics, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1996.Google Scholar
  5. Rogalski, A., Infrared Photon Detectors, SPIE Optical Engineering Press Bellingham, Washington, 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manijeh Razeghi
    • 1
  1. 1.Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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