Abstract

The principal causes of nonlinearity in vacuum multiplier phototubes when used with practical circuits are investigated. This investigation was made because the wide application of phototubes as irradiance measurement devices requires a linear detection system or a system of known nonlinearity. There are two principal causes of nonlinearity associated with multiplying photoemissive devices as used in practical circuits: (1) A dynamic plate impedance which is finite compared with the load impedance; (2) a responsivity which is a function of anode current, due to changing interelectrode voltages. The first cause of nonlinearity gives a measurement of irradiance which is less than the actual irradiance, whereas the second cause gives a reading which is too high. The effects are, therefore, compensating to a degree which depends on the specific tube and circuit parameters. An expression is derived to apply as a correction to irradiance measurements obtained with a particular multiplier phototube circuit configuration.

© 1964 Optical Society of America

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