Modern Physics

What is Photovoltaic effect?

Photovoltaic effect

An effect arising when a junction exists between two dissimilar materials and one of the materials is exposed to electromagnetic radiation,usually in the range near ultraviolet to infrared.The two materials may,for example,be a metal and a semiconductor or two semiconductors of opposite polarity,the combination forming a Schottky barrier and a P-N junction respectively.A forward voltage appears across the illuminated junction and power can be delivered to an external circuit.
The incident radiation imparts energy to electrons in the valance band,and electron hole pairs are generated in the depletion region existing around the P-N junction and in the Schottky barrier.As the pairs are produced they are able top cross the junction and produce the forward bias.A migration of electrons into the n-type semiconductor produces a negative bias while an excess of holes migrating into the p-type semiconductor or the metal produces a positive bias.

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