What is a Diode Array?

A type of electrical component, a diode allows current to flow in a single direction, but can emit or sense light based on which specialized model is used. Important for assisting the necessary functions of semiconductors in various digital and linear circuits, diode arrays are discrete electrical diode devices often consisting of unconnected diodes assembled along a linear package. Also referred to as a semiconductor package, diode arrays typically come with four diodes in a single assembly, but are available in a variety of designs and configurations for optimal part compatibility. To better answer any questions you may have on diode arrays, we will discuss how they amplify electrical processes to provide improved reliability, high density packaging, faster assembly speeds, and fewer parts in comparison to individually packaged diodes.

Constructed with 1024 individual photodiodes in a linear array, diode arrays are proficient for pieces of equipment that use light. As aforementioned, although diode arrays come with four diodes as the standard, diode arrays at a higher variable are readily obtainable depending on a user's particular application needs. With the median being eight to twelve diodes for most applications, like that of a dual inline package (DIP), diode array instruments can be optimized for the rapid procurement of light along the wavelength spectrum with photodiodes. Often used for spectrophotometer applications where charge carrier generation is unavoidable alongside the use of a semiconductor, diode arrays are the optimal component for optical interconnects in electronic processing systems including: digital I/O ports, computer and peripheral I/O ports, fast switching data lines, flip chips, core driver applications, LAN/WAN networks, and much more.

Naturally predisposed to ambient light, applied semiconductors are sensitive to such energy, but still require the aid of the spectrum to function. Impacted by charge carrier generation, e.g., ions, electrons, and electron holes (the absence of an electron in an atomic lattice), semiconductors require the facilitation of electrons capable of causing interference. Therefore, it is recommended that semiconductors and their accompanying diode array be encased in a light-blocking package or material. In these cases, photodiodes making up a diode array may remain uncovered from any light-blocking materials to allow an interaction to occur. Depending on the intended application of a diode array, some devices may also be equipped with light emitting diodes (LED) to achieve additional designs needed for LED/laser printing, image scanning, or certain visual effects for various mediums.

In the event that a single diode or diode array were to fail, alternate devices can be used until a replacement is received. These devices include light-sensitive phototransistors like bipolar phototransistors—an alternate form of bipolar resistor—or solaristors, as well as avalanche photodiodes. However, avalanche photodiodes are known for increasing a device's responsivity when applied. Though, in lieu of relying on alternate parts, when you are in need of specific diode arrays for your applications, turn to Plane Parts 360.


December 16, 2021

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