Materials reacting to electric pulses


Do there exist materials that:
– React to electrical pulses having frequency in the band 2-10Hz with a very low frequency response (near to DC),
– Have a measurable reaction, where measurable means that I can directly transduce the signal into an electrical one by connecting in some way the material to an electronic circuit,
– The reaction is easy to measure, easy means that the measurement circuit is very elementary,
– Dissipates very low power (microWatts (or orders about 10^2 microWatt ) if possible).

I actually don't care about the way these materials react, they can also emit some light whose spectrum varies with the pulses frequency.

Best Answer

One example would be a chamber containing pure nitrobenzene with electrodes on either side. Applying an electric field causes a rotation of the polarization of light passing through the chamber. Here's a reference to the original paper.

Since nitrobenzene is a dielectric, little current flows, and only a tiny amount of power is dissipated in the Kerr cell when the switching happens (due to losses in the dielectric). However the driving circuitry may well dissipate a fair bit of power if the switching occurs at a highly frequency.

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