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Photoluminescent Memory

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000098408D
Original Publication Date: 1960-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Winogradoff, N: AUTHOR

Abstract

An electrolytic cell including a semiconductor window yields varying degrees of photoluminescence through variation of the surface state of the semiconductor. Such is effected by applying a voltage of reversible polarity to the cell in which the semiconductor forms one of the electrodes. Passage of current through the cell in one direction modifies the semiconductor surface so that its photoluminescence is enhanced. Reversal of the voltage practically extinguishes the photoluminescence. On removal of the applied voltage, the degree of photoluminescence is characterized by the last polarity condition. It remains high or low for a long period of time or until the surface state is changed by the application of a voltage whose polarity is opposite to that previously applied.

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Photoluminescent Memory

An electrolytic cell including a semiconductor window yields varying degrees of photoluminescence through variation of the surface state of the semiconductor. Such is effected by applying a voltage of reversible polarity to the cell in which the semiconductor forms one of the electrodes. Passage of current through the cell in one direction modifies the semiconductor surface so that its photoluminescence is enhanced. Reversal of the voltage practically extinguishes the photoluminescence. On removal of the applied voltage, the degree of photoluminescence is characterized by the last polarity condition. It remains high or low for a long period of time or until the surface state is changed by the application of a voltage whose polarity is opposite to that previously applied. The semiconductor material thus exhibits memory properties.

A transparent container 10 having a semiconductor window 11 electrically connected to a lead 12 and an electrode 13 (cadmium) is filled with an electrolyte 14 (cadmium chloride).

Light from a source 15 is focused on the semiconductor window 11 by a lens
16. The spectrum of the light must be such that the photons have sufficient energy to cause generation of excess carriers within the semiconductor material to give rise to photoluminescence. A light detector 17 is positioned opposite the external surface of the semiconductor window 11 so as to detect the degree of photoluminescence. An amplifier 18 is provided.

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