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MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION
• The material used to make a photodiode is critical to defining its properties, because only photons with sufficient energy to excite electrons across the material's bandgap will produce significant photocurrents.
Materials commonly used to produce photodiodes include:
• Material Wavelength range (nm) Silicon190–1100 Germanium400–1700 Indium gallium arsenide800–2600 Lead sulfide<1000-3500
• Because of their greater bandgap, silicon-based photodiodes generate less noise than germanium-based photodiodes, but germanium photodiodes must be used for wavelengths longer than approximately 1 µm • Since transistors and ICs are made of semiconductors, and contain P-N junctions: almost every active component is potentially a photodiode.
• Many components, especially those sensitive to small currents, will not work correctly if illuminated, due to the induced photocurrents. • In most components this is not desired, so they are placed in an opaque housing. Since housings are not completely opaque to X-rays or other high energy radiation, these can still cause many ICs to malfunction due to induced photo-currents.
Const ru cti on
• Hamamatsu photodiodes can be classified by manufacturing method and construction into: five types of silicon photodiodes and two types each of GaAsP and GaP photodiodes.
Ph ot odio de Co nstr ucti on
• Silicon photodiodes are constructed from single crystal silicon wafers similar to those used in the manufacture of integrated circuits
• The major difference is that photodiodes require higher purity silicon • The purity of silicon is directly related to its resistivity, with higher resistivity indicating higher purity silicon. • Centro Vision products utilize silicon whose resistivities range from 10 Ohm-cm to 10,000 Ohm-cm.
A cross section of a typical silicon photodiode is shown in the figure:
• N type silicon is the starting material. • A thin "p" layer is formed on the front surface of the device by thermal diffusion or ion implantation of the appropriate doping material (usually boron). • The interface between the "p" layer and the "n" silicon is known as a pn junction.
• The back contact is the cathode, the front contact is the anode. • The active area is coated with either silicon nitride, silicon monoxide or silicon dioxide for protection and to serve as an anti-reflection coating. • The thickness of this coating is optimized for particular irradiation wavelengths.
Pla nar Diffusi on Type
• An SiO2 coating is applied to the P-N junction surface, yielding a photodiode with a low level dark current.
Low-Ca pa cita nce Pla nar Diffusi on Type
• A high-speed version of the planar diffusion type photodiode. This type makes use of a highly pure, high-resistance N-type material to enlarge the depletion layer and thereby decrease the junction capacitance, thus lowering the response time to 1/ 10 the normal value. The P layer is made extra thin for high ultraviolet response.
PN N+ Typ e
• A low-resistance N+ material layer is made thick to bring the NN+ boundary close to the depletion layer. This somewhat lowers the sensitivity to infrared radiation, making this type of device useful for measurements of short wavelengths.
PI N Type
• • • • An improved version of the lowcapacitance planar diffusion device. It Uses: extra high-resistance I layer between the P- and N-layers to improve response time. exhibits even further improved response time when used with reversed bias. designed with high resistance to breakdown and low leakage for such applications
• A thin gold coating is sputtered onto the N material layer to form a Schottky Effect P-N junction. Since the distance from the outer surface to the junction is small, ultraviolet sensitivity is high
Av alanche Type
• If a reverse bias is applied to a P-N junction and a high-field formed within the depletion layer, photon carriers will be accelerated by this field. They will collide with atoms in the field and secondary carriers are produced, this process occurring repeatedly. known as the avalanche effect and, since it results in the signal being amplified . this type of device is ideal for detecting extremely low level light
Photodiode Equivalent Circuit
IL = current generated by the incident light ID = diode current CJ = junction capacitance RSH = shunt resistance
RS = series resistance I’ = shunt resistance current VD = voltage across the diode Io = output current Vo = output voltage
• • • •
Shunt resistance is used to determine the noise current in the photodiode in photovoltaic mode. It is the slope of the current-voltage curve of the photodiode at the origin. Ideal photodiode should have an infinite shunt resistance. Non-ideal photodiodes have typical values ranging from 10’s to 1000’s of Mega ohms.
• Series resistance is used to determine the linearity of the photodiode in photovoltaic mode. • Series resistance of a photodiode arises from the resistance of the contacts and the resistance of the undepleted silicon is given by:
• Ideal photodiodes have no series resistance • Non-ideal photodiodes have typical values ranging from 10 to 1000 Ω.
• Junction capacitance is used to determine the speed of the response of the photodiode. • Junction capacitance is the capacitance that exist at PN junction which is dependent on the thickness of depletion region. • The junction capacitance is directly proportional to the diffused area and inversely proportional to the width of the depletion region. • Furthermore, the capacitance is dependent on the reverse bias as follows:
• Response time is the certain amount of time to respond to a sudden change in light levels. • The response time is expressed in terms of the following: • tR = Rise time Rise time is the time required for the output to rise from 10% to 90% of its final value. 2. tF = Fall time Fall time is the time required for the output to fall from 90% to 10% of its final value.
Rise Time and Fall Time
• There are three factors defining the response time of a photodiode: tDRIFT, the charge collection time of the carriers in the depleted region of the photodiode. tDIFFUSED, the charge collection time of the carriers in the undepleted region of the photodiode. tRC, the RC time constant of the diode-circuit combination. tRC = 2.2RC
Rise Time and Fall Time
• Total rise time is determined by:
• In photovoltaic mode, rise time is dominated by the diffusion time for diffused areas less than 5mm2 and by RC time constant. • In fully depleted photoconductive mode, the dominant factor is drift time. • In non-fully depleted photoconductive mode, all the drift time, diffused time and RC time constant contribute to the response time.
• The responsivity of a silicon photodiode is a measure of the sensitivity to light, and it is defined as the ratio of the photocurrent IP to the incident light power P at a given wavelength: R= Ip / P • it is a measure of the effectiveness of the conversion of the light power into electrical current.
A typical responsivity curve that shows A/W as a function of wavelength is given below.
• A photodiode's capability to convert light energy to electrical energy, expressed as a percentage, is its Quantum Efficiency, (Q.E.). The sensitivity of a photodiode may also be expressed in practical units of amps of photodiode current per watt of incident illumination.
Relationship of Responsivity and Quantum Efficiency
• It is a measure of the effectiveness of the conversion of the light power into electrical current. It is related to responsivity by: Q.E= R observed R ideal (100%) = R hc q = 1.24 10^3 R
Quantum Efficiency for a Photodiode
• η ≡Number of corresponding electrons in the external circuit
Number of incident photons
• The quantum efficiency η is less than one because of: a. Fresnel reflection at the photodiode surface b. Absorption of photons in areas other than the depletion region c. Recombination in the depletion region
• Non-Uniformity of response is defined as variations of responsivity observed over the surface of the photodiode active area with a small spot of light. Non-uniformity is inversely proportional to spot size, larger non-uniformity for smaller spot size. • Accurate determination of the responsivity of silicon photodiodes are highly desired in photometry. It affects power measurements especially in photodiodes with large active areas.
• Non-Linearity is the variation of the ratio of the change in photocurrent to the same change in light power, i.e. I/ P. • The linearity exhibits the consistency of responsivity over a range of light power. • The lower limit of the photocurrent linearity is determined by the noise current and the upper limit by the series resistance and the load resistance.
PHOTODIO DES APPLIC ATIONS
Photodiodes are used in many different types of circuits and applications. Here are a few examples of where photodiodes have been used:
A handheld digital ambient light meter, showing an f-stop of 5.6 for 24 frame/s 500 ISO filming
A portable pulse oximeter registering a satisfactory saturation reading
A residential wall-mounted smoke detector. The "test" button is visible on the lower part of the image.
Aut omo ti ve
Automatic Headlight Dimmers
Commu nic ati ons
1.) Optical Fiber An optical fiber (or fibre) is a glass or plastic fiber that carries light along its length. Fiber optics is the overlap of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of optical fibers. Optical fibers are widely used in fiberoptic communications, which permits transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than other forms of communications. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss, and they are also immune to electromagnetic interference.
2.) Optical Communications 3.) Optical Remote Control
A bundle of optical fibers
A typical handheld barcode scanner
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