LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices. Braunstein observed infrared emission generated by simple diode structures using gallium antimonide (GaSb). J. releasing energy in the form of photons. faster switching. improved robustness.A light-emitting diode (LE ) (pronounced /l i di/. using a crystal of silicon carbide and a cat's-whisker detector. with very high brightness. His research was distributed in Russian. LEDs powerful enough for room lighting are relatively expensive and require more precise current and heat management than compact fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output.[4][5] Russian Oleg Vladimirovich Losev independently reported on the creation of an LED in 1927. Introduced as a practical electronic component in 1962 early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light. Round of Marconi Labs. J. indium . smaller size. An LED is often small in area (less than 1 mm2). GaAs. but modern versions are available across the visible. and are increasingly used for lighting. but no practical use was made of the discovery for several decades. and integrated optical components may be used to shape its radiation pattern. L-E-D[1]) is a semiconductor light source. ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. This effect is called electroluminescence and the color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor. When a light-emitting diode is forward biased (switched on). longer lifetime. Rubin Braunstein of the Radio Corporation of America reported on infrared emission from gallium arsenide (GaAs) and other semiconductor alloys in 1955. LEDs present many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption. and greater durability and reliability. German and British scientific journals. Discoveries and early devices Green electroluminescence from a point contact on a crystal of SiC recreates H. electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device. Electroluminescence was discovered in 1907 by the British experimenter H. Round's original experiment from 1907.

found that GaAs emitted infrared radiation when electric current was applied and received the patent for the infrared LED. In 1976. These devices em ployed compound semiconductor chips fabricated with the planar process invented by Dr. M. Ameri an experimenters Robert Biard and Gary Pittman working at Texas Instruments. In the 1970s commercially successful LED devices at under five cents each were produced by Fairchild Optoelectronics. [citation needed] The color of the plastic lens is often the same as the actual color of light emitted. and most blue devices have clear housings. while working at General Electric Company. (SiGe alloys at room temperature and at In 1961. a former graduate student of Holonyak. 8 mm. invented the first yellow LED and improved the brightness of red and red-orange LEDs by a factor of ten in 1972. Th e technology proved to have major uses for alphanumeric displays and was integrated into HP's early handheld calculators. such as those found on blinkies and on cell phone keypads (not shown). Until 1968. purple plastic is often u sed for infrared LEDs. estimated at 80% of world production. Jean Hoerni at Fairchild Semiconductor. These methods continue to be used by LED producers. For instance. The main types of LEDs are miniature. George Craford. Holonyak is seen as the "father of the light-emitting diode". The 5 mm cylindrical package (red. The first practical visible-spectrum (red LED was developed in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr. high power devices and custom designs such as alphanumeric or multi-color. Pearsall created the first high -brightness. Miniature Different si ed LEDs. Hewlett Packard (HP introduced LEDs in 1968.P. The combination of planar processing for chip fabrication and innovative packaging methods enabled the team at Fairchild led by optoelectronics pioneer Thomas Brandt to achieve the needed cost reductions. There are also LEDs in SMT packages. high efficiency LEDs for optical fiber telecommunications by inventing new semiconductor materials specifically adapted to optical fiber transmission wavelengths. fifth from the left) is the most common. initially using GaAsP supplied by Monsanto. 5 mm and 3 mm. with a wooden match -stick for scale. T. Main article: Miniature light-emitting diode . Types LEDs are produced in a variety of shapes and si es. but not always. using gallium arsenide phosphide in 1968 to produce red LEDs suitable for sphi (InP .. and si i n-ger aniu 77 kelvin. visible and infrared LEDs were ex The Monsanto Company was the first organi ation to mass-produce visible LEDs.

They sometimes have the diode mounted to four leads (two cathode leads. The higher current allows for the higher light output required for tail-lights and emergency lighting. In 2009 Seoul Semiconductor released a high DC voltage capable of being driven from AC power with a simple controlling circuit. They are usually simple in design. from Philips Lumileds. and they come in various -si es from 2 mm to 8 mm. Some well-known HPLEDs in this category are the Lumileds Rebel Led. not requiring any separate cooling body. halogen. they are able to handle higher currents (around 100 mA). or be set in an array to form a powerful LED lamp. One HPLED can often replace an incandescent bulb in a torch. [71] Typical current ratings ranges from around 1 mA to above 20 mA. the XLamp XP-G LED chip emitting Cool White light) and are being sold in lamps intended to replace incandescent. as LEDs grow more cost competitive. emergency lighting and automotive tail -lights.g. compared with the tens of mA for other LEDs. the device will fail in seconds. These LEDs are most commonly used in light panels. two anode leads) for better heat conduction and carry an integrated lens. As of September 2009 some HPLEDs manufactured by Cree Inc. The efficacy of this type of HPLED is typically 40 lm/W. . If the heat from a HPLED is not removed. High power See also: Solid-state lighting and LED lamp High-power light emitting diodes (Luxeon. A large number of LED elements in series may be able to operate directly from line voltage. through-hole and surface mount packages. Due to the larger amount of metal in the LED. The small scale sets a natural upper boundary on power consumption due to heat caused by the high current density and need for heat sinking. now exceed 105 lm/ (e. Lumileds) High power LEDs (HPLED) can be driven at currents from hundreds of mA to more than an ampere. and even fluorescent lights. Some can emit over a thousand lumens Since overheating is destructive. Mid-range Medium power LEDs are often through-hole mounted and used when an output of a few lumen is needed. An example of this is the Superflux package. LEDs have been developed by Seoul Semiconductor that can operate on AC power without the need for a DC converter. the HPLEDs must be mounted on a heat sink to allow for heat dissipation. and this is reversed during the next half cycle. Osram Opto Semiconductors Golden Dragon and Cree X-lamp.These are mostly single-die LEDs used as indicators. part of the LED emits light and part is dark. For each half cycle. The low power dissipation of these LEDs affords them more flexibility than the original AC LED design.

Bi-color LEDs are actually two different LEDs in one case. Tri-color LEDs are two LEDs in one case. Most flashing LEDs emit light of one color. Alphanumeric LED displays are available in seven-segment and starburst format. generally using a four-wire connection with one common lead (anode or cathode). y y y y . have only two leads (positive and negative) and have a built in tiny electronic control unit. Seven-segment displays handle all numbers and a limited set of letters. These LEDs can have either common positive or common negative leads. They consist of two dies connected to the same two leads antiparallel to each other. In diffused lens LEDs this is visible as a small black dot. green and blue emitters. but more sophisticated devices can flash between multiple colors and even fade through a color sequence using RGB color mixing. Flashing LEDs resemble standard LEDs but they contain an integrated multivibrator circuit which causes the LED to flash with a typical period of one second. Starburst displays can display all letters. Alternating the two colors with sufficient frequency causes the appearance of a blended third color. For example. a red/green LED operated in this fashion will color blend to emit a yellow appearance. Seven-segment LED displays were in widespread use in the 1970s and 1980s. has reduced the popularity of numeric and alphanumeric LED displays. A three-lead arrangement is typical with one common lead (anode or cathode).Application-specific variations y Flashing LEDs are used as attention seeking indicators without requiring external electronics. and current in the opposite direction emits the other color. Others however. with their lower power needs and greater display flexibility. Current flow in one direction emits one color. [citation needed] RGB LEDs contain red. but the two LEDs are connected to separate leads so that the two LEDs can be controlled independently and lit simultaneously. but rising use of liquid crystal displays.

these carriers are swept from the junction by the built-in field of the depletion region. thereby creating a fr tro and a (positively charged electron) ho . depending upon the mode of operation. Photodiodes are similar to regular semiconductor diodes except that they may be either exposed (to detect vacuum UV or X-rays) or packaged with a window or optical fiber connection to allow light to reach the sensitive part of the device. or one diffusion length away from it. Thus holes move toward the anode. If the absorption occurs in the junction's depletion region. £ ¢  ¡       ¡ . Many diodes designed for use specifically as a photodiode will also use a PI junction rather than the typical P junction. A photodiode is a P junction or PI structure. it excites an electron.PHOTO DIODE A photodiode is a type of photodetector capable of converting light into either current or voltage. and electrons toward the cathode. and a photocurrent is produced. When a photon of sufficient energy strikes the diode.

typically expressed in A/W when used in photoconductive mode. these parameters contribute to the ensitivity of the optical receiver. The related characteristic etectivity (D) is the inverse of NEP. The NEP is roughly the minimum detectable input power of a photodiode. and it is also a source of noise when a photodiode is used in an optical communication system. equal to the rms noise current in a 1 hertz bandwidth. When a photodiode is used in an optical communication system. ¥ ¤ ¦¥ . or the ratio of the number of photogenerated carriers to incident photons and thus a unitless quantity. The dark current includes photocurrent generated by background radiation and the saturation current of the semiconductor junction. and the ecific detectivity ( ) is the detectivity normalized to the area (A) of the photodetector. 1/NEP. Dark current must be accounted for by calibration if a photodiode is used to make an accurate optical power measurement. Noise-equivalent power (NEP) The minimum input optical power to generate photocurrent. Dark current The current through the photodiode in the absence of light. when it is operated in photoconductive mode. which is the minimum input power required for the receiver to achieve a specified bit error ratio. . The responsivity may also be expressed as a Quantum efficiency.Features Response of a silicon photo diode vs wavelength of the incident light Critical performance parameters of a photodiode include: Responsivity The ratio of generated photocurrent to incident light power.

intensified charge-coupled devices or photomultiplier tubes are used for applications such as astronomy. smoke detectors. photoconductors are often used rather than photodiodes. a PIN photodiode must be reverse biased (Vr). They are also used in pulse oximeters.Applications P-N photodiodes are used in similar applications to other photodetectors. clock radios (the ones that dim the display when it's dark) and street lights. They are also widely used in various medical applications. although in principle either could be used. Due to the intrinsic layer. and the receivers for remote controls in VCRs and televisions. P-N photodiodes are not used to measure extremely low light intensities. The Vr increases the depletion region allowing a larger volume for electron -hole pair production. night vision equipment and laser rangefinding. and photomultiplier tubes. 3. They generally have a better. spectroscopy. charge-coupled devices. PIN diodes are much faster and more sensitive than ordinary p-n junction diodes. avalanche photodiodes. such as detectors for computed tomography (coupled with scintillators) or instruments to analyze samples (immunoassay). Instead. 2. Photodiodes are often used for accurate measurement of light intensity in science and industry. a reverse bias is recommended for higher bandwidth applications and/or applications where a wide dynamic range is required. which reduces the S/N ratio. The Vr also introduces noise current. A PN photodiode is more suitable for lower light applications because it allows for unbiased operation. Therefore. In other consumer items such as camera light meters. P-I-N photodiodes 1. and reduces the capacitance thereby increasing the bandwidth. Photodiodes are used in consumer electronics devices such as compact disc players. The avalance photodiode now has a current gain introduced by the avalanche multiplication factor. such as photoconductors. and hence are often used for optical communications and in lighting regulation. P-N vs. . if high sensitivity is needed. more linear response than photoconductors.

025 x 1 mm each arranged as a one-dimensional array. which can be used as a position sensor.Photodiode array Hundreds or thousands (up to 2048) photodiodes of typical sensitive area 0. . One advantage of photodiode arrays (PDAs) is that they allow for high speed parallel read out since the driving electronics may not be built in like a traditional CMOS or CCD sensor.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful