photoelectric cell

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Any of several devices that produce an electric signal in response to exposure to electromagnetic radiation. The original photocells utilized photoemission from a photosensitive cathode (photocathode). The electrons emitted are attracted to an anode. A positive potential on the anode enables a current to flow through an external circuit, the current being proportional to the intensity of the illumination on the cathode. The electrodes are enclosed in an evacuated glass tube (see also photomultiplier).

More modern light-sensitive devices utilize the photoconductive effect and the photovoltaic effect (see photoelectric effect; photodiode; phototransistor; solar cell).

Photoelectric cells.

Subjects: Physics.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.