OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Vol. 5, Iss. 6 — Jun. 1, 1988
  • pp: 1305–1311

Angular sensitivity of a vacuum photodiode, or does a photodetector always count absorbed photons?

T. H. Chyba and L. Mandel  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 5, Issue 6, pp. 1305-1311 (1988)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (696 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The response of a vacuum photoemissive photodiode to a light beam has been investigated as a function of the angle of incidence in order to check whether the response is always proportional to the absorbed number of photons. By working mainly in the region of total internal reflection and measuring the reflected beam with an auxiliary detector at near-normal incidence, we were able to determine the absorptivity and to compare it with the measured photoelectric current. We found that the ratio of the two quantities is constant and independent of the angle of incidence for TE waves but not for TM waves. The results suggest that there exists an extra loss mechanism for TM waves, which may be connected with plasmon generation. Because of this extra loss, the response of the detector to TM waves is not a direct measure of the number of absorbed photons.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 7, 1987
Revised Manuscript: February 19, 1988
Published: June 1, 1988

T. H. Chyba and L. Mandel, "Angular sensitivity of a vacuum photodiode, or does a photodetector always count absorbed photons?," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 5, 1305-1311 (1988)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. J. Durnin, C. Reece, L. Mandel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 71, 115 (1981). [CrossRef]
  2. J. Geist, W. K. Gladden, E. F. Zalewski, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 1068 (1982). [CrossRef]
  3. E. G. Ramberg, Appl. Opt. 6, 2163 (1967). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. H. Hora, Phys. Status Solidi A 5, 159 (1971). [CrossRef]
  5. W. Greschat, H. Heinrich, P. Römer, in Advances in Electronics and Electron Physics, B. L. Morgan, R. W. Airey, K. D. McMullan, eds. (Academic, New York, 1976), Vol. 40A, p. 397. [CrossRef]
  6. A. Otto, Z. Phys. 216, 398 (1968);Z. Phys. 219, 227 (1969). [CrossRef]
  7. E. Kretschmann, H. Raether, Z. Naturforsch. A 23, 2135 (1968);E. Kretschmann, Z. Phys. 241, 313 (1971). [CrossRef]
  8. G. S. Agarwal, Phys. Rev. B 8, 4768 (1973). [CrossRef]
  9. T. A. Callcott, E. T. Arakawa, Phys. Rev. B 11, 2750 (1975). [CrossRef]
  10. H. J. Simon, D. E. Mitchell, J. G. Watson, Am. J. Phys. 43, 630 (1975), [CrossRef]
  11. J. E. Sipe, J. Becher, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 71, 1286 (1981). [CrossRef]
  12. L. Mandel, E. C. G. Sudarshan, E. Wolf, Proc. Phys. Soc. (London) 84, 435 (1964). [CrossRef]
  13. P. L. Kelley, W. H. Kleiner, Phys. Rev. 136, A316 (1964). [CrossRef]
  14. R. H. Lehmberg, Phys. Rev. 167, 1152 (1967). [CrossRef]
  15. B. R. Mollow, Phys. Rev. 168, 1896 (1968). [CrossRef]
  16. L. Mandel, D. Meltzer, Phys. Rev. 188, 198 (1969). [CrossRef]
  17. R. J. Cook, Phys. Rev. A 25, 2164;Phys. Rev. A 26, 2754 (1982).
  18. H. J. Kimble, L. Mandel, Phys. Rev. A 30, 844 (1984). [CrossRef]
  19. The angular distribution of the photoelectrons and its dependence on polarization was treated in some detail by K.-N. Huang, Phys. Rev. A 22, 223 (1980). [CrossRef]
  20. W. H. McCarroll, R. J. Paff, A. H. Sommer, J. Appl. Phys. 42, 569 (1971). [CrossRef]
  21. See, for example, M. Born, E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 5th ed. (Pergamon, Oxford, 1975), Chaps. 1 and 13.
  22. V. E. Kondrashov, A. S. Shepov, Bull. Acad. Sci. USSR, Phys. Ser. 28, 1349 (1964).
  23. C. Ghosh, Phys. Rev. B 22, 1972 (1980). [CrossRef]
  24. R. W. Engstrom, Photomultiplier Handbook (RCA Corporation, Lancaster, Pa., 1980), p. 18.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited