Photonics Dictionary

cathode radiant sensitivity

Cathode radiant sensitivity refers to the ability of a photocathode to convert incident radiant energy, typically in the form of light, into an electrical signal. Photocathodes are components used in devices such as photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) and image intensifiers, where the goal is to detect and amplify light signals.

In these devices, the photocathode is exposed to incident photons, and as a result of the photoelectric effect, electrons are emitted. The number of emitted electrons is proportional to the intensity of the incident light. The cathode radiant sensitivity is a measure of how efficiently the photocathode converts photons into electrons.

The sensitivity of the photocathode can be influenced by various factors, including the materials used in its construction, the wavelength of the incident light, and the quantum efficiency of the photocathode at specific wavelengths. Quantum efficiency represents the percentage of incident photons that result in the emission of photoelectrons.

In summary, cathode radiant sensitivity is a key parameter in the performance of light-sensitive devices, indicating their ability to convert incoming light into an electrical signal. It plays a crucial role in applications where the detection and amplification of low-intensity light signals are essential, such as in night vision devices, scientific instruments, and various imaging systems.

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