Optoelectronics is the study and application of light-emitting or light-detecting devices. It is widely considered a sub-discipline of photonics.
Photonics refers to the study and application of the physical science of light. Optoelectronics is quickly becoming a fast-emerging technology field that consists of applying electronic devices to sourcing, detection, and control of light. These devices can be a part of many applications like military services, automatic access control systems, telecommunications, medical equipment, and more.
Since this field is so broad, the range of devices that fall under optoelectronics is vast, including image pick up devices, LEDs and elements, information displays, optical storages, remote sensing systems, and optical communication systems. Telecommunication using fiber optics and X-ray machines in hospitals are a few illustrations of this technology
Optoelectronics is the communication between optics and electronics which includes the study, design, and manufacture of a hardware device that converts electrical energy into light and light into energy through semiconductors. This device is made from solid crystalline materials that are lighter than metals and heavier than insulators. The optoelectronic device is basically an electronic device involving light. This device can be found in many optoelectronics applications like military services, telecommunications, automatic access control systems, and medical equipment. The majority of the optoelectronic devices (direct conversion between electrons and photons) are LEDs, laser diodes, photodiodes, and solar cells
Examples of optoelectronic devices consist of:
- Telecommunication laser
- Optical fiber
- Blue laser
- LED traffic lights
- Solar cells
- Laser Diodes
The most common optoelectronic devices that feature direct conversion between electrons and photons are LEDs, photo and laser diodes, and solar cells.
Types of Optoelectronic Devices You Need to Know and Their Applications
Today, optoelectronic devices are primarily based on semiconductors like silicon (Si), which exhibit electronic properties between those of a conductor and an insulator based on the structure of the energy bandgap in the material.
Though the relationship between optoelectronics and semiconductors is not mutually exclusive, they form the basis of most optoelectronic systems used in consumer, industrial, and military products.
These include but are not limited to:
- Photovoltaics (or solar cells)
- Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
- Encoder sensor integrated circuits (ICs)
- Laser diodes
- Optical fibers
A photodiode is a semiconductor light sensor that generates a voltage or current when light falls on the junction. It consists of an active P-N junction, which is operated in reverse bias. When a photon with plenty of energy strikes the semiconductor, an electron or hole pair is created. The electrons diffuse to the junction to form an electric field.
This electric field across the depletion zone is equal to a negative voltage across the unbiased diode. This method is also known as the inner photoelectric effect. This device can be used in three modes: photovoltaic as a solar cell, forward biased as an LED, and reverse biased as a photodetector. Photodiodes are used in many types of circuits and different applications such as cameras, medical instruments, safety equipment, industries, communication devices and industrial equipment.
A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is an electronic device that directly converts the sun’s energy into electricity. When sunlight falls on a solar cell, it produces both a current and a voltage to produce electric power. Sunlight, which is composed of photons, radiates from the sun. When photons hit the silicon atoms of the solar cell, they transfer their energy to lose electrons; and then, these high-energy electrons flow to an external circuit.
The solar cell is composed of two layers that are stuck together. The first layer is loaded with electrons, so these electrons are ready to jump from the first layer to the second layer. The second layer has some electrons taken away, and therefore; it is ready to take more electrons. The advantages of solar cells are that there is no fuel supply and cost problem. These are very dependable and require little maintenance.
The solar cells are applicable in rural electrification, telecommunication systems, ocean navigation aids, electric power generation system in space, and remote monitoring and control systems.
The light-emitting diode is a P-N semiconductor diode in which the recombination of electrons and holes yields a photon. When the diode is electrically biassed in the forward direction, it emits incoherent narrow-spectrum light. When a voltage is applied to the leads of the LED, the electrons recombine with the holes within the device and release energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence. It is the conversion of electrical energy into light. The color of the light is decided by the energy bandgap of the material.
The usage of LED is advantageous as it consumes less power and produces less heat. LEDs last longer than incandescent lamps. LEDs could become the next generation of lighting and used anywhere like in indication lights, computer components, medical devices, watches, instrument panels, switches, fiber-optic communication, consumer electronics, household appliances, etc.
Encoder sensor integrated circuits (ICs)
These are a complete system-on-chip (SoC) integrated circuit sensor that is utilized as the heart of an optical encoder to convert rotary or linear motion into electrical signals that can be used to determine speed, rate, velocity, distance, position or direction.
A typical application will use one or more of these sensors as feedback to the controller in a motion control system.
Encoder Sensors IC’s feature a monolithic array of active photodiodes that are utilized to convert the light signal into electrical signals but in addition to this, it has most of the peripheral circuitry to condition and manipulates the electrical analog signals.
Some of the most complex encoder IC’s may contain up to 10 different subsystems to form a cohesive system for precise motion detection.
For example, it may contain a closed-loop feedback input driver, a temperature sensor, analog, and digital outputs and short-circuit protection circuitry which together, form a cohesive system to provide a turn-key solution to the customer’s need.
Laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is a source of highly monochromatic, coherent, and directional light. It operates under stimulated emission conditions. The function of a laser diode is to convert electrical energy into light energy like infrared diodes or LEDs. The beam of a typical laser has 4×0.6mm extending at a distance of 15 meters. The most common lasers used are injection lasers or semiconductor lasers. The semiconductor laser changes from other lasers like solid, liquid, and gas lasers
When a voltage is applied across the P-N junction, the population inversion of the electrons is produced, and then the laser beam is available from the semiconductor region. The ends of the P-N junction of the laser diode have a polished surface, and hence, the emitted photons reflect back to create more electron pairs. Thus, the photons generated will be in phase with the previous photons.
An optical fiber or optic fiber is plastic and transparent fiber made of plastic or glass. It is somewhat thicker than human hair. It can function as a light pipe or waveguide to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber. Optical fibers usually include three concentric layers: a core, a cladding and a jacket. The core, a light-transmitting region of the fiber, is the central section of the fiber, which is made of silica. Cladding, the protective layer around the core, is made of silica. This creates an optical waveguide that limits the light in the core by total reflection at the interface of the core-cladding. The jacket, the non-optical layer around the cladding, typically consists of one or more layers of a polymer that protects the silica from physical or environmental damage.
Along with the fiber-optic cable, jackets are available in different colors. These colors allow the recognition of the fiber-optic cable and the type of cable one is dealing with. For example, an orange-color cable clearly indicates a single-mode fiber, while a yellow one indicates a multimode fiber. In the single-mode fiber, one mode propagates and the light rays travel straight through the cable. In a multimode cable, the light rays travel through the cable following different modes.
These cables are used in telecommunications, sensors, fiber lasers, bio-medicals and in many other industries. The advantages of using optical-fiber cable include their higher bandwidth, less signal degradation, weightlessness and thinness than a copper wire, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and hence they are used in medical and mechanical imaging systems.
Here are four reasons why fiber is used over electrical…
- Optical signals are not susceptible to EMI/EMC interference, nor do they cause it.
- Signals of different wavelengths can be sent down the same fiber and they do not interfere with one another.
- Optical signals do not degrade as fast as electrical ones.
- The bandwidth of an optical cable is far greater than an electrical cable.
Applications of Optoelectronic Devices
- LEDs could become the next generation of lighting and used anywhere like in indication lights, computer components, medical devices, watches, instrument panels, switches, fiber-optic communication, consumer electronics, household appliances, traffic signals, automobile brake lights, 7 segment displays, and inactive displays, and also used in different electronic and electrical engineering projects such as
- Propeller Display of Message by Virtual LEDs
- LED-Based Automatic Emergency Light
- Mains Operated LED Light
- Display of Dialed Telephone Numbers on Seven Segment Display
- Solar Powered Led Street Light with Auto Intensity Control
- The solar cells are applicable in rural electrification, telecommunication systems, ocean navigation aids, and electric power generation in space and remote monitoring and control systems and also used in different solar energy-based projects such as
- Solar Energy Measurement System
- Arduino based Solar Street Light
- Solar Powered Auto Irrigation System
- Solar Power Charge Controller
- Sun Tracking Solar Panel
- Photodiodes are used in many types of circuits and different applications such as cameras, medical instruments, safety equipment, industries, communication devices and industrial equipment.
- Optical fibers are used in telecommunications, sensors, fiber lasers, bio-medicals and in many other industries.
- The laser diodes are used in fiber optic communication, optical memories, military applications, CD players, surgical procedures, Local Area Networks, long-distance communications, optical memories, fiber optic communications, and in electrical projects such as RF Controlled Robotic Vehicle with Laser Beam Arrangement and so on.
Thus, this is all about the optoelectronic devices which include laser diodes, photodiodes, solar cells, LEDs, optical fibers. These optoelectronic devices are used in different electronic project kits as well as in telecommunications, military services, and medical applications. For more information regarding the same, please post your queries by commenting below.
The Future of the Optoelectronics Industry
According to Market Insight Reports, the optoelectronics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.25% over the forecast period of 2019 to 2024.
Optoelectronic devices make up a significant part of the global semiconductor market, and growth is being witnessed across a few areas, specifically…
- High demands for LEDs have become an industry standard for display technology in electronic devices. This standard is due to increased demand for better performance and higher resolution among consumers.
- There is a growth in demand in the automotive industry thanks to the adoption of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, which is expected to boost the usage of optoelectronics devices, thus propelling the market.
- Advanced manufacturing and fabrication technologies are seeing growing consumption, which is driving the use of optoelectronic components in the industrial sector.
What to expect from Gallon Electric?
With all the risk awaiting you when purchasing optoelectronic components globally, you definitely want to contract with a genuine and a trusted wholesaler that will help you place orders and see your order delivered. That is exactly what Gallon Electric offers you.
Why Gallon Electric?
Opto-electronics components are very vital for industry. If you are looking for those Opto-electronics components Gallon Electric might be your best choice.
Gallon Electric can be your trusted supplier for Opto-electronics components because of its best price & quality and we are also committed to ensuring better technical support for you.
Gallon Electric is committed to providing customers with authorized genuine components with the least risk of counterfeit. We can provide full traceability on the commercial components sold. From sales to shipping Gallon Electric is committed to meeting your requirements for the right product, on time
Gallon Electric can be your trusted supplier for buying electric components because of its best price & quality and we are also committed to ensuring better technical support for you. Gallon Electric commits to quality products, high service, and timely delivery to our customers.