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• It is a reverse biased Si or Ge pn junction diode in which the reverse current increases when the junction is exposed to light

Reverse Bias Operation
• When no incident light, the reverse current Iλ is almost negligible & is called Dark Current

Photodiode Operation

Operating Principle of PN Photodiode

Reverse Current Vs Irradiance

Reverse voltage Vs Reverse Current curve

Application of Photodiode
• Alarm Circuit using Photodiode

Application of Photodiode
• Counter Circuit using photodiode

Types of Photodiode
1. PN Photodiode 2. PIN Photodiode 3. Avalanche Photodiode

PIN Photodiode
• It is a 3 region reverse biased junction diode • Used for the detection of light at the receiving end in optical communication.

Avalanche Photodiode (APD)
• It is operated under a large reverse bias condition where the electron-hole pairs generated by an optical illumination incident on the device can go through the avalanche multiplication process • It is highly sensitivity, high speed semiconductor light sensor • Useful in fibre optic communication systems

Avalanche Photodiode (APD)

Medical Application of Photodiodes
• Photo diodes are used in a broad range of biomedical instruments: 1. Pulse oximeters 2. Finger-tip heart sensors 3. Single drop blood glucose meters 4. Fiber-optic based spectrophotometers 5. Spectrophotometric detection of tumors using endoscopes 6. CT Scanners – X ray detection 7. Blood Particle Analyzers


• Electronic Devices by Floyd • Electronic Devices & Circuits by S Salivahanan