Fatigue in Selenium Rectifier Cells


THE effect described by Mr. J. S. Preston in his letter in Nature of June 31 may be connected with the increased departure from linearity of response which Dr. W. R. G. Atkins and I2 found to occur in a number of these cells when illuminated by light of wave-length greater than about 0·66 μ. We were interested in the use of these cells to measure daylight, especially under water, where very large changes of illumination occur and optical methods of varying the exposure of the cell are very inconvenient. Long range and large maximum illumination Were therefore essential, and the photometer bench used gave a range of 1 to 725. A filament lamp behind a water cell 4·4 cm. thick gave a maximum illumination estimated at some 15,000 lux when no colour filter was used. Schott BG 12, RG 1 and RG 5, Corning Green and Zeiss 966/8 filters, singly or combined, enabled different spectral regions to be tested. Fatigue effects were reduced to the utmost by keeping the cell in the dark except for the few seconds needed to balance the Campbell-Freeth circuit by which the current was measured. The comparative steadiness of the balance seemed to show that in this case fatigue was unimportant. We did not notice enhanced fatigue in red light, possibly because we expected a small fatigue effect due to the warming of the cell circuit by the comparatively intense deep red and near infra-red radiation transmitted by the red fiters.

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  1. 1

    Nature, 153, 680 (1944).

  2. 2

    Sci. Proc. Roy. Dub. Soc., 22, 393 (1941).

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POOLE, H. Fatigue in Selenium Rectifier Cells. Nature 154, 274 (1944). https://doi.org/10.1038/154274a0

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