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Title: Enhanced absorptance photocathodes.
Author: Harmer, Stuart William.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3532 0678
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis addresses one of the major limiting factors in the performance of photomultipliers, that is that the photocathodes employed often only absorb a small fraction, typically less than 25%, of the power in the incident light. Current photocathodes are almost exclusively planar and the starting point of the thesis is the mathematical modelling of both, semitransparent and reflective planar photocathodes. The analysis shows that the absorptance of semitransparent photocathodes increases for light incident beyond the critical angle needed for Attenuated Total Internal Reflection (ATIR). Reflective type planar photocathodes could certainly have their absorptance enhanced by use of silver rather than nickel substrates, as increases in absorptance of 2-3 times are possible for red light. The proposed method for remedying the inherent loss in sensitivity of photomultipliers caused by the non-total absorption of light in the photocathode was to employ a ridged substrate in the photocathode. The ridged substrate, glass or metal for semitransparent and reflective type photocathodes respectively, allows the light multiple interactions with the photoemissive layer. In the case of semitransparent photocathodes ATIR would mean no power is transmitted for those interactions that take place beyond the critical angle of incidence. The mathematical modelling and subsequent analysis of ridged photocathodes show enhanced absorptance (20-30 fold improvements are certainly achievable), especially for light in the red end of the operating spectral range. Further gains in quantum efficiency can follow by the reduction of the optimum photocathode thickness, resulting from the structure, while maintaining high absorptance. Some subwavelength structures are also modelled and analysed to ascertain whether this route could be used to improve the absorptance of photocathodes, the results are inconclusive but generally indicate anti-reflective, rather than absorbing properties. Finally the extremely sparse nature of published permitivity data has been rectified by our own measurements for the permitivities of certain photocathodes over a wide wavelength range.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available