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LDR/PHOTO DIODE/PHOTO TRANSISTOR

CHARACTERISTICS TRAINER
Model No. ITB - 27

User Manual

Version 2.0

Technical Clarification /Suggestion :


N/F
Technical Support Division,
Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd.,
Plot No :75, Electronics Estate,
Perungudi, Chennai - 600 096, INDIA.
Ph: 91- 44-2496 3142, 91-44-2496 1852
Mail : sales@vimicrosystems.com,
Web : www.vimicrosystem.com
LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

OPTICAL SENSORS
(LDR / PHOTODIODE / PHOTO TRANSISTOR)

INTRODUCTION

Optoelectronics covers that area of science which combines optical and electronic technologies.
Optical spectrum occupies only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. An optical
transducer is a light sensor i.e. a transducer that produces an electrical output in response to light
input.

Opto electronic components are increasingly used in modern electronics. Main fields of
application are light barriers for production control and safety devices, light control and regulating
equipment like twilight switches, fire detectors and facilities for optical heat supervision, scanning
of punched cards and perforated tapes, positioning of machine tools (for measuring length, angle
and position) of optical apparatus and ignition processes, for signal transmission at electrically
separated input and output as well as conversion of light into electrical energy.

Lately new fields of application opened up for opto electronic components in the photo industry
in form of exposure and aperture control and for automatic electronic flashes. IR sound
transmission and IR remote control are new modes in the radio industry. Computer diagnosis
and LED displays in instrument panels are possible applications in the automotive industry.

Depending upon the application either photovoltaic cells or photodiodes are used. Wherever
amplifiers with high input impedance are required photodiodes are to be preferred.

Photo transistors are predominantly used in connection with transistor circuits or to drive
integrated circuits.

All the sensors used in this instrument is imported from RS Components, UK.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [1]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

LIGHT DEPENDENT RESISTORS (LDR)

Electrical conduction in semiconductor materials occurs when free charge carriers, e.g. electrons,
are available in the material when an electric field is applied. In certain semiconductors, light
energy falling on them is of the correct order of magnitude to release charge carriers which
increase flow of current produced by an applied voltage. The increase of current with increase
in light intensity with the applied voltage remaining constant means that the resistance of
semiconductors decreases with increase in light intensity. Therefore, these semiconductors are
called photoconductive cells or Photo Resistors or sometime Light Dependent Resistors (LDR),
since incident light effectively varies their resistance.

The two most commonly used photoconductive semiconductor materials are cadmium sulphide
(CdS). On account of the large energy bands, the material has a very high resistivity at ambient
temperature which gives a very high value of resistance for practical purposes. The
photoconductive cells use a special type of construction which minimises resistance while
providing maximum surface and enclosing them in a protective envelope of glass or plastic.

The electrodes are usually inter-digital i.e. in the form of interlocked fingers or combs as shown
in Fig.1

Fig.1 - Light Dependent Resistor

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Peak spectral response - 550mm


Cell resistance at 10 Lux - 20 - 100 K
at 100 Lux - 5 K
Dark resistance - 20 M
Max. voltage - 100 V
Power dissipation - 50mW
Rise time at 100 Lux - 45ms
Fall time at 100 Lux - 55ms
Operating temperature range - -60°C to +75°C

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [2]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

PHOTODIODES

Photodiodes are semiconductor light sensors that generate a current or voltage when the P-N
junction in the semiconductor is illuminated by light. The term photodiode can be broadly defined
to include even solar batteries, but it usually refers to sensors used to detect the intensity of light.
Photodiodes can be classified by function and construction as follows:

Photodiode type

1. PN photodiode
2. PIN photodiode
3. Schottky type photodiode
4. APD (Avalanche photodiode)
All of these types provide the following features and are widely used for the detection of
the intensity, position, color and presence of light.

Features of photodiode

1. Excellent linearity with respect to incident light


2. Low noise
3 Wide spectral response
4. Mechanically rugged
5. Compact and lightweight
6. Long life

Principle of Operation

Figure shows a cross section of a photodiode. The P-layer material at the active surface and the
N material at the substrate form a PN junction which operates as a photoelectric converter. The
usual P-layer for a Si photodiode is formed by selective diffusion of boron, to a thickness of
approximately 1 µm or less and the neutral region at the junction between the P- and N-layers is
known as the depletion layer. By controlling the thickness of the outer P-layer, substrate N-layer
and bottom N+-layer as well as the doping concentration, the spectral response and frequency
response can be controlled. When light strikes a photodiode, the electron within the crystal
structure becomes stimulated.

If the light energy is greater than the band gap energy Eg, the electrons are pulled up into the
conduction band, leaving holes in their place in the valence band. These electron-hole pairs occur
throughout the P-layer, depletion layer and N-layer materials. In the depletion layer the electric
field accelerates these electrons toward the N-layer and the holes toward the P-layer. Of the
electron-hole pairs generated in the N-layer, the electrons, along with electrons that have arrived
from the P-layer, are left in the N-layer conduction band. The holes at this time are being diffused
through the N-layer up to the depletion layer while being accelerated, and collected in the P-layer
valence band. In this manner, electron-hole pairs which are generated in proportion to the amount
of incident light are collected in the N- and P-layers.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [3]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

This results in a positive charge in the P-layer and a negative charge in the N-layer. If an external
circuit is connected between the P- and N-layers, electrons will flow away from the N-layer, and
holes will flow away from the P-layer toward the opposite respective electrodes. These electrons
and holes generating a current flow in a semiconductor are called the carriers.

Figure - 2 Photodiode cross section

The photodiode incorporates on a P and a N type layer. The system has the electrical
characteristics of a rectifier. Radiation directed in the vicinity of the PN junction and cause a flow
of current.

The photodiode is reverse biased. The reverse biased saturation current is dependent upon the
intensity of the incident light.

Comparing photodiodes with photoconductors, the photodiode possesses considerably better


frequency response, linearity, spectral response and lower noise. The disadvantages of
photodiodes include small active area, rapid increase in dark current with temperature, bias
voltage requirement, and the necessity of amplification at low illumination levels.

Because of their fast response time, photodiodes are used as cine film sound track readers.
Similarly they can be used as detectors of modulated light in optical communication systems and
also in switching circuits.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [4]


I
) A
LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer

Figure - 3
ITB - 27

The above figure shows the types of carriers that exist in a PN junction. When light shines on the
depletion region, the number of carriers of both types increases. The majority-carrier (Forward)
current flow in the diode is only slightly charged, since there are already so many majority carriers
present due to doping .However, the thermally generated number of minority carriers is very
small, and the optically generated minority carriers can greatly exceed the thermally generated
minority carriers. The characteristic curve of the device takes on the curve as shown in fig.4. As
the number of minority carriers increases, the characteristic curve is offset by an increasing reverse
current flow. A major use of the Photodiode is based on the fact that a higher light intensity
produces a greater reverse current flow. This proportional relationship enables the development
of circuits that are sensitive to the amount of light incident on the device light meters and light-
sensitive switching circuits make use of this effect.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd.,


Figure - 4

[5]
LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

Supplied to RS by Siemens

A 7mm2 Plan are silicon PIN Photodiode housed in a two pin epoxy package, the BPW series
have an integral daylight cut-off filter. These devices are low noise, high speed and operate over
a wide temperature range. Applications include remote controls, light contains, data transmission,
measurement and control.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Peak wavelength - 850nm

Responsivity - 0.62 A/W

Rise/fall time - 20ns

Acceptance angle - 1200

Dark current (max.) - 30 nA

Noise equivalent power - 4.1 x 10 -14 W / Hz or H1/2

Break down voltage - 32V

Power Dissipation - 150 mW

Operating temp. - -40o C to +80o C

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [6]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

PHOTOTRANSISTORS

Phototransistors are photodiode-amplifier combinations integrated within a single silicon chip.


These are combined to overcome the major fault of photodiodes: unity gain. Many applications
demand a greater output signal from the photodetector than can be generated by a photodiode
alone. While the signal from a photodiode can always be amplified through use of an external op-
amp or other circuitry, this approach is often not as practical or as cost-effective as the use of
phototransistors. The phototransistor can be viewed as a photodiode whose output photocurrent
is fed into the base of a conventional small-signal transistor. While not required for operation of
the device as a photodetector, a base connection is often provided, allowing the designer the
option of using base current to bias the transistor. The typical gain of a phototransistor can range
from 100 to over 1500. Phototransistors can be used as ambient-light detectors. When used with
a controllable light source, typically an IRED, they are often employed as the detector element
for optoisolators and transmissive or reflective optical switches.

Features

* Low-cost visible and near-IR photodetection


* Available with gains from 100 to over 1500
* Moderately fast response times
* Available in a wide range of packages including epoxy-coated, transfer-molded, cast,
hermetic packages, and in chip form
* Usable with almost any visible or near-infrared light source such as IREDs; neon,
fluorescent, incandescent bulbs; lasers; flame sources; sunlight; etc.
* Same general electrical characteristics as familiar signal transistors

Typical Applications

* Computer/Business Equipment
* Write-Protect Control
* Margin Controls—Printers
* Industrial
* LED Light Source—Light Pens
* Security Systems
* Safety Shields
* Consumer
* Coin Counters
* Lottery Card Readers
* Position Sensors—Joysticks
* Remote Controllers—Toys, Appliances, Audio/Visual Equipment
* Games—Laser Tag
* Camera Shutter Control

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [7]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

Principle of Operation

Phototransistors are solid-state light detectors that possess internal gain. They can be used to
provide either an analog or digital output signal.

A phototransistor is a normal transistor in which the envelope enclosing the junction is transparent
to allow light to fall on the base emitter junction. At any PN junction hole-electron pairs are
generated when light falls on the junction, so that any light falling on the base-emitter junction,
produces a current which is amplified by transistor action, making the device very sensitive.

The dark current increases in a phototransistor exponentially with rise in temperature and if the
temperature is sufficiently high the dark and light currents may be indistinguishable. At any given
temperature the dark current can be reduced to a small value by biasing the base of the transistor
which is normally left open circuited. The sensitivity is decreased but the ratio of light to dark
current is increased.

The advantages of the phototransistor are: low power consumption, small size, immediate
operation on switching on, low voltage operation and long life.

A phototransistor gives a high gain. This transistor is very good for digital applications because
of the small rise and fall times.

supplied to RS by Siemens:

BPX 38 is a medium gain detector with a wide acceptance angle and high sensitivity. It is housed
in hermetically sealed TO18 packages. This device has a flat lens. It is suitable to demanding
applications in hostile environments.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Vc(max) - 50v
Ic (max) - 50mA
Photocurrent - 2-3mA
Dark current - 300mA
Operating temp. - -55o C to + 125 o C
Acceptance angle - 80o
Rise / Fall time - 15µs
Power dissipation - 220mN

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [8]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

GENERAL ARCHITECTURE

Optical sensors generally respond to the change in intensity as well as direction of the light beam.
Change in intensity can be brought about by changing the distance of the light source from the
sensor. According to Inverse Square Law in The Laws of Illumination, the illuminance of a
surface is inversely proportional to the square of the distance of the surface from the source of
light.

In this instrument, this law is applicable and hence there exists an inverse square relation between
distance and output voltage of the sensor.

Figure - 5

The general block diagram of any optical transducer is given in Fig.5. Optical detectors or
sensors undergo change in their electrical parameters (change in resistance for LDR, change in
current for photodiode / photo transistor. This change is suitably signal conditioned to give a
proportional output voltage.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [9]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

FRONT PANEL DIAGRAM

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 10 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

FRONT PANEL DESCRIPTION

Power ON/OFF - To switch ON/OFF the unit.

Light Sensor - To interface the optical sensor.

(0-12V) DC - To vary the analog output (0-12)V by using the potentiometer.

T1, T2 - To measure the DC voltage.

Light Interface - To interface the bulb.

SW - To measure resistance (or) voltage.

T3, T4 - To measure the resistance value in LDR.

T5,T6 - To measure the output voltage in LDR.

T7, T8 - To measure the output voltage in photodiode.

T9, T10 - To measure the output voltage in phototransistor.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 11 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

EXPERIMENTAL SECTION
EXPERIMENT - 1

AIM

To study the response of Distance versus Voltage in Light Dependent Resistors (LDR).

Figure - 7

PROCEDURE

1. Position the pointer at 0 on the scale, when the bulb is at maximum distance away from
the sensors.

2. Switch ON the supply to the unit.

3. To set 8V across T1, T2 terminals by adjusting the (0-12)VDC potentiometer.

4. To measure the voltage output across T5, T6 terminals at that time the switch is in V
position.

5. Gradually move the bulb towards the sensor in steps of 5cm distance and note the
corresponding voltage.

6. Repeat the steps 4 and 5 for 10V and 12V adjustments.

7. Tabulate the readings and plot the graph between distance and voltage.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 12 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

TABULATION

Sensor Output Voltage (V)


Distance (cm)
8V 10V 12V

MODEL GRAPH

4.5

3.5

2.5

1.5

0.5

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30

RESULT

Thus the response of Distance versus Voltage in Light Dependent Resistors (LDR) was studied.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 13 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

EXPERIMENT - 2

AIM

To study the response of Distance versus Resistance in Light Dependent Resistors (LDR).

PROCEDURE

1. Position the pointer at 0 on the scale, when the bulb is at maximum distance away from
the sensors.

2. Switch ON the supply to the unit.

3. To set 8V across T1, T2 terminals by adjusting the (0-12)VDC potentiometer.

4. To Measure the resistance output across T3, T4 terminals at that time the switch in R
position.

5. Gradually move the bulb towards the sensor in steps of 5cm distance and note the
corresponding resistance.

6. Repeat the steps 4 and 5 for 10V and 12V adjustments.

7. Tabulate the readings and plot the graph between distance and resistance.

TABULATION

Sensor Output Resistance ()


Distance (cm)
8V 10V 12V

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 14 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

MODEL GRAPH

RESULT

Thus the response of Distance versus Resistance in Light Dependent Resistors (LDR) was
studied.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 15 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

EXPERIMENT - 3

AIM

To study the response of Distance versus Voltage in Photodiode.

PROCEDURE

1. Position the pointer at 0 on the scale, when the bulb is at maximum distance away from
the sensors.

2. Switch ON the supply to the unit.

3. To set 8V across T1, T2 terminals by adjusting the (0-12)VDC potentiometer.

4. To measure the voltage output across T7, T8 terminals.

5. Gradually move the bulb towards the sensor in steps of 5cm distance and note the
corresponding voltage.

6. Repeat the steps 4 and 5 for 10V and 12V adjustments.

7. Tabulate the readings and plot the graph between distance and voltage.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 16 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

TABULATION

Sensor Output Voltage (V)


Distance (cm)
8V 10V 12V

MODEL GRAPH

3.5

2.5

1.5

0.5

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30

RESULT

Thus the response of Distance versus Voltage in Photodiode was studied.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 17 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

EXPERIMENT - 4

AIM

To study the response of Distance versus Voltage in Phototransistor.

PROCEDURE

1. Position the pointer at 0 on the scale, when the bulb is at maximum distance away from
the sensors.

2. Switch ON the supply to the unit.

3. To set 8V across T1, T2 terminals by adjusting the (0-12)VDC potentiometer.

4. To measure the voltage output across T9, T10 terminals.

5. Gradually move the bulb towards the sensor in steps of 5cm distance and note the
corresponding voltage.

6. Repeat the steps 4 and 5 for 10V and 12V adjustments.

7. Tabulate the readings and plot the graph between distance and voltage.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 18 ]


LDR/Photo Diode/Photo Transistor Characteristics Trainer ITB - 27

TABULATION

Sensor Output Voltage (V)


Distance (cm)
8V 10V 12V

MODEL GRAPH

4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30

RESULT

Thus the response of Distance versus Voltage in Phototransistor was studied.

Vi Microsystems Pvt. Ltd., [ 19 ]