When light is absorbed by a material such as a semiconductor, the number of free electrons and electron holes increases and raises its electrical conductivity. To cause excitation, the light that strikes the semiconductor must have enough energy to raise electrons across the band gap, or to excite the impurities within the band gap. When a bias voltage and a load resistor are used in series with the semiconductor, a voltage drop across the load resistors can be measured when the change in electrical conductivity of the material varies the current through the circuit.
Last edited by ke0ipr. Register to edit
Photoconductivity is the property of a substance to conduct electricity based upon the intensity of the light shining on it. Brighter light decreases resistance in the substance, resulting in better conductivity and vice versa.
Photoconductive materials are used in semiconductors.
Last edited by kacela. Register to edit
This feature is found in in some high-frequency transceivers, and is used to transfer electrical signals between two isolated circuits by using light. It's essentially an LED focusing light on a phototransistor.
An opto-isolator is primarily used to prevent high voltages (line spikes, RF, lightning, electrostatic discharge, etc) from damaging equipment.
Note that sometimes an opto-isolator is called an optocoupler or even an "optical relay". These are all terms for the same thing.
Last edited by kv0a. Register to edit
The photovoltaic effect is the creation of voltage or electric current in a material upon exposure to light.
The standard photovoltaic effect is directly related to the photoelectric effect, though they are different processes. When the sunlight or any other light is incident upon a material surface, the electrons present in the valence band absorb energy and, being excited, jump to the conduction band and become free. These highly excited, non-thermal electrons diffuse, and some reach a junction where they are accelerated into a different material by a built-in potential (Galvani potential). This generates an electromotive force, and thus some of the light energy is converted into electric energy.
Source: Wikipedia - Photovoltaic Effect
Last edited by mvs90. Register to edit
Wikipedia definition of the device. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_encoder
So, what can we do with an optical shaft encoder (optical rotary encoders)? Sound like a fancy name for a position detector. The number of applications can be enormous, but narrowing down for anything Ham related they can be used for detecting the:
Memory Trick: A wheel rotates around a shaft.
Last edited by mlitty. Register to edit
Semiconductors are defined by their unique electric conductive behavior, somewhere between that of a metal and an insulator. High conductivity in a material comes from it having many partially filled quantum states and much state delocalization. Most common semiconducting materials are crystalline solids, but amorphous and liquid semiconductors are also known. Such disordered materials lack the rigid crystalline structure of conventional semiconductors such as silicon. A high degree of crystalline perfection is also required, since faults in crystal structure interfere with the semiconducting properties of the material.
Last edited by w3mit. Register to edit
The key is the term "solid state" i.e. no moving parts. Otherwise it performs very similar to a mechanical relay, except for much faster and with greater reliability, so long as it is operated within its design specifications.
Last edited by izcbn9u1jgxakc0nfzgmma3huhm=. Register to edit
The best (and correct) answer is that the efficiency of a photovoltaic cell is the relative fraction of light that is converted to current.
Efficiency is expressed as a ratio or percentage. It can range from 0 to 1, or 0% to 100%. It does not have a unit. You can eliminate the open-circuit voltage divided by short-circuit current option because this gives you a number expressed in ohms, which is not unitless.
You can eliminate RF output power divided by input DC power because the question does not ask about the efficiency of a transmitter or any other radio, it asks about the efficiency of a photovoltaic cell (which doesn't involve RF power at all).
The effective payback period is not a term used to describe any kind of electrical phenomena.
Hint: Only the answer has the word light in it.
Last edited by ke0ipr. Register to edit
This is one of those question/answer pairs that just has to be memorized. Fully-illuminated silicon photovoltaic cells produce about half a volt.
Test tip: It is currently theorized that someday we may see solar cells approaching 50% efficiency in converting light to electricity. While voltage and efficiency are not actually directly related in this way, as a memory aide it serves well enough to say that "0.5" is our goal for such cells.
Last edited by w9mpx. Register to edit
Photovoltaic cells (PV cells), or more commonly called solar cells or solar panels convert light into electrical current. The process is called the photovoltaic effect which is mostly the same as the photoelectric effect. In the photovoltaic effect, a "charge carrier", which is typically an electron, absorbs a photon and becomes "excited" to a higher energy level or a higher voltage. This increased voltage causes electrical current to flow.
Protons are part of the atomic nucleus and cannot normally have their energy changed and be made to move around by photon absorption.
Photons are the particles that make up all electrical magnetic radiation (light, radio waves, microwaves, etc).
"Holes" refers to a semiconductor model, and while PV cells are made of semiconductor material (silicon), holes and electrons are normally discussed when talking about transistors. It is worth mentioning that in the electron/hole model, when an electron is ejected from the PV cell, it does leave a hole, but that hole is promptly filled by a lower energy electron due to the current flow in the circuit.
Silly Hint: Energy from Light... EL - electrons
Last edited by comdijital. Register to edit
The liquid crytal material responds to an applied voltage, which changes its light refraction. This allows the material to go from nearly transparent to almost opaque, making it appear black.
Last edited by jsharris1229. Register to edit
An LCD display utilizes two polarizing filters along with the liquid crystal as part of the mechanism; with sufficient voltage the liquid crystal becomes polarized such that between the two filters it becomes opaque, thus becoming black (or transparent, depending on the situation).
Because it utilizes polarizing filters to do this, if you look at it through polarized lenses (filters) such as you might have on some sunglasses some orientations of the lenses may cause the display to appear entirely opaque (completely unreadable).
Last edited by kd7bbc. Register to edit