The bulk photovoltaic effect describes the generation of photocurrents and photovoltages in bulk materials lacking a center of symmetry. Its principal mechanism is “shift current,” a nonlinear-optical, inherently quantum mechanical process. While most attention has been devoted to its prospects as a means of solar energy capture, shift current bulk photovoltaic effect possesses a number of distinguishing features that make it well-suited to sensing and switching applications: photovoltages substantially exceeding the material’s band gap, response amplitudes and directions that can depend on both photon energy and polarization, and response that occurs on ultrafast timescales.
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The bulk photovoltaic effect as a novel mechanism for sensing devices and applications
", Proc. SPIE 9835, Ultrafast Bandgap Photonics, 98350P (May 13, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2225103; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2225103