Abstract

Ordinary glass–metal seals are reported here to give rise to photocurrents as a result of light illumination. Responsivity observed here is of the order of 10 mA·W−1. Signal-polarity results suggest that the seal acts as a Schottky barrier. Photoionization of impurities, particularly iron oxide, in the glass energy gap is believed to be the detection mechanism. A method is suggested for increasing responsivity. Development of glass optical detectors may be advantageous for many applications involving optics and glass, including integrated optics, particularly in view of the low cost, the completely negligible dark current, and the guiding capabilities of glass fibers. The detection properties of glass–metal seals should be considered when evaluating experimental results, such as the optogalvanic effect, involving discharges as detectors of light.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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