Computer-controlled photodetector characterization system (design and construction).
Herdlick, Bryan E.
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This system was designed to evaluate the response characteristics of photodetectors operating at wavelengths in the 1 micron and 8-12 micron range. A Quartz-Tungsten-Halogen source was used for visible and near-IR energy, and a dedicated IR element provided gray-body radiation with a peak at 1150 Kelvin. A monochromator was employed in conjunction with a six-position filter wheel to provide precise control of energy incident on the photodetectors. Variations in the efficiency of components were compensated for through normalization based on the energy incident on the photodetectors. An intuitive, computer-based interface was developed to automate data collection, and provided numeric and graphic representations of data as it is being collected. At completion, data is exported to a spreadsheet file. A commercial silicon detector was successfully characterized, and accurate voltage response and responsivity curves were generated. A pyroelectric detector was used to verify proper operation of gratings and filters at infrared wavelengths. The system is suitable for its intended purpose, and will be capable of characterizing detectors designed to operate in the 3-5 micron range with the installation of appropriate filters and gratings.
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