Bube, Richard H. Department of Material Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
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The increase in electrical conductivity caused by the excitation of additional free charge carriers by light of sufficiently high energy in semiconductors and insulators. Effectively a radiation-controlled electrical resistance, a photoconductor can be used for a variety of light- and particle-detection applications, as well as a light-controlled switch. Other major applications in which photoconductivity plays a central role are television cameras (vidicons), normal silver halide emulsion photography, and the very large field of electrophotographic reproduction. The phenomena related to photoconductivity have also played a large part in the understanding of electronic behavior and crystalline imperfections in a variety of different materials. See also: Optical detectors; Optical modulators; Particle detector; Photoconductive cell; Photography; Television camera tube
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