In most applications, photodiodes are used for converting light into electric current or even voltage. However, in major and more demanding applications, photodiodes are not that effective. Instead, photosensitive integrated circuits are preferred. In this guide, we are going to analyze everything you should know about photosensitive integrated circuits.
- 1 What are photosensitive integrated circuits?
- 2 The working mechanism of photosensitive integrated circuits
- 3 History of photosensitive integrated circuits
- 4 Types of photosensitive integrated circuits
- 5 What are the applications of photosensitive integrated circuits?
- 6 Conclusion
What are photosensitive integrated circuits?
Photosensitive integrated circuits are basically electronic devices that are used to convert light energy into electric current.
It is a semiconductor chip that is designed in a way that it can be used to convert light into electric current.
The advantage of using photosensitive integrated circuits instead of photodiodes is that they are smaller and can be used for a variety of applications.
The working mechanism of photosensitive integrated circuits
The working mechanism is similar to that of photodiodes. However, the major difference lies in the fact that these devices have been manufactured as chips whereas photodiodes are mostly known as individual components.
The basic working principle is the same i.e. when light falls on the surface of these devices, electrons are knocked off from the surface which is then collected by the electrodes.
The basic difference lies in the fact that these have been manufactured as chips whereas photodiodes are mostly known as individual components.
In photodiodes, some of the electrons get knocked off from the surface which results in a potential difference (voltage drop) across it. Whereas in photosensitive integrated circuits, most of the electrons get knocked off which results in a much higher voltage drop across it.
This higher voltage drop is measured and used for different purposes. For example, if we want to develop an alarm system, this high voltage can be used to trigger an alarm or a buzzer, or any other device. If we want to use it for some other purpose, say, to control a motor, then we can use this high voltage to control a relay or any other switch.
History of photosensitive integrated circuits
In the early days of research in this field, most of the researchers used photodiodes along with transistors. This was mainly because they were available in large numbers and were cheap compared to other devices.
However, due to the need for a large number of devices per application and due to their unreliability at certain voltages, these were replaced by photosensitive integrated circuits.
Nowadays, photosensitive integrated circuits are used in almost every application where light is required for some purpose.
Types of photosensitive integrated circuits
Depending on the type of material used to make the light-sensitive device, photosensitive integrated circuits can be classified into three types:
Silicon photodiodes are made up of single crystal silicon which is doped with boron or phosphorus in order to make it conductive. In most cases, these are used as voltage regulators in low voltage applications and also as light detectors in security alarms and automatic doors, etc. They are less expensive compared to photo-transistors but they do not have a wide range of values and hence they are not suitable for all applications.
Photoresistors are made up of a silicon diode with boron or phosphorus doping. They are used as voltage regulators in low voltage applications and also as light detectors in security alarms and automatic doors etc. However, they do not have a wide range of values and hence they are not suitable for all applications.
Phototransistors are made up of a silicon p–n junction with boron or phosphorus doping. The silicon p–n junction is formed by the diffusion of boron or phosphorus atoms into the n-type region of the silicon crystal lattice. Phototransistors can be used as sensors, light switches, photocells, etc.
They have excellent sensitivity and are inexpensive to make but they have limited temperature and voltage range. Phototransistors are used as voltage regulators in low voltage applications.
What are the applications of photosensitive integrated circuits?
Photosensitive integrated circuits have a wide range of applications from the simple to the complex. As a simple example, a photosensitive integrated circuit can be used in the application of a television remote control that is powered by batteries. The photoelectric sensor is used to detect when the battery has run out and provides an indication to the user that it is time for a replacement.
The most common application of photosensitive integrated circuits is in instrumentation and control applications. For example, photoelectric sensors are used to measure temperature, light intensity, humidity, pressure, and many other physical properties at industrial plants.
Photosensitive integrated circuits are also frequently used in medical imaging applications such as X-ray or CT scanners where they are used to measure the amount of radiation being delivered to an object being scanned or imaged.
Photosensitive integrated circuits are also commonly used in military applications. For example, they are used to measure the physical properties of munitions and vehicles such as tanks and ships so that they can be detected by radars or other sensing devices. They are also often used to detect the presence of explosives or other dangerous substances in a structure.
Photosensitive integrated circuits are also commonly used in industrial process control applications. For example, they may be used to detect leaks and other defects in oil pipelines or gas distribution systems.
Photosensitive integrated circuits may also be used to measure temperature and pressure so that they can detect leaks and other defects in mechanical systems. They may also be used to detect the presence of corrosion or other problems in metal structures such as bridges and pipelines.
Other applications for photosensitive integrated circuits are in optical instrumentation, including spectroscopy and photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). These applications use photosensitive integrated circuits to measure the amount of light that is being received by measurement devices such as PMTs, spectroscopes, and photodiodes.
The amount of light received by a photocell is dependent on the quantity of light that strikes the photocell. A photosensitive integrated circuit can be used to detect this quantity of light and convert it into an electrical signal that can be processed by an electronic circuit.
In conclusion, the photosensitive integrated circuit is a very useful technology in the field of electronics and has great potential to be used in many different fields. It is a good example of how technological advances can be made to solve problems that may not have been possible before.
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If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.