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Photo Diode – Printed Circuit Boards
Photo diodes are the special diodes which can produce the current in the reverse direction (cathode to anode) when exposed to the light. The amount of current produced is directly proportional to the intensity of the light. They are not as good sensitive as the photo transistors but they are a good choice in simple circuit boards applications. They are for sure mainly used in the solar cells and optical communications.
They are the type of a capacitor which is controlled by the voltage. The capacitance of this capacitor aka diode is inversely proportional. The reverse biased voltage of the circuit board design. So in short they are used for the charge storage when reverse biased. They are used in the applications like Phase Locked Loop (PLL), Frequency Locked Loop (FLL) circuits and general RF uses and tuning receivers. The junction can provide values in the Pico Farad when small variations of voltage happen in reverse biased condition.
They are very much similar with the Zener diode. The same phenomenon happens here as well that is the current flows in the reverse direction when it crosses the breakdown voltage. But the flow of current in reverse biased happens according to the Avalanche Effect. The major another difference is that these two types of diodes have different value of the temperature coefficient. They are used in Protection circuits and RF noise generations etc.
PIN diodes are another totally different kind of diodes which have a central portion un-doped between the P and N junction. They are used as the variable Resistor because the resistance value is dependent on the value of DC voltage when supplied in forward biased condition. They are mostly used in the applications like the Radio Frequency (RF) and microwave switches.