Abstract

The response of extrinsic photoconductors to a step change in incident photon flux has long been known to exhibit a sharp transient feature, particularly at higher signal levels, known as the hook effect. We demonstrate experimentally and theoretically that the hook effect can be due to reduced illumination adjacent to the injecting contact. This nonuniformity can be produced by the transverse illumination of the detector that is common for far-infrared Ge:Ga devices. The hook effect has been demonstrated to be either present or absent in the same Ge:Ga photoconductor, at comparable signal size, depending on the nature of the contact illumination. Numerical finite-difference calculations of the transient response support this explanation and produce features that replicate the experimental results.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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