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Streak Makes Gain In Price Performance

Scientists who study the rapidly occurring optical phenomena associated with the photoluminescent analysis of semiconductor materials, as well as those who conduct energy relaxation and transfer studies and laser, optical fiber, or optical logic research, often need specialized detectors, known as streak cameras, to analyze their data successfully. Streak cameras focus incoming photons onto a photocathode, which converts them into a beam of photoelectrons proportionate to incoming intensity. A

V Richard Sheridan

Scientists who study the rapidly occurring optical phenomena associated with the photoluminescent analysis of semiconductor materials, as well as those who conduct energy relaxation and transfer studies and laser, optical fiber, or optical logic research, often need specialized detectors, known as streak cameras, to analyze their data successfully. Streak cameras focus incoming photons onto a photocathode, which converts them into a beam of photoelectrons proportionate to incoming intensity. A strong electrostatic field subsequently accelerates the electrons down the streak tube. A deflection voltage then sweeps the electrons at a given rate over a known distance, thus converting spatial information into temporal information. A phosphorous screen reconverts the electrons into an optical output, creating the “streak image.” Streak camera systems measure ultrashort optical phenomena (on the order of picoseconds), providing simultaneous data on time, position (or wavelength), and intensity. Streak camera technology overcomes problems such as photodetector rise times, amplifier band...

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