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The BPW34 is a very common photodiode. It has a wide spectral response (visible and near infrared)and very high speed.

Spec Sheet: http://www.vishay.com/docs/81521/bpw34.pdf

Spectral Bandwidth: 430nm to 1100nm

Highlights: It is an ideal replacement for photocells however it is a current device and requires an amplifier circuit as the one shown below to function properly. Also it's reponse is much faster than that of a photocell (100ns compared to 10ms).

Photovoltaic Preamp. Linear Response, Zero Bias, Low Noise, Precision Applications. Increasing R1 increases sensitivity. For a higher speed a Photoconductive design should be taken by reverse biasing the diode with -V rather than ground.

BPW34 Pinouts.png


  • 1 Op Amp
  • 1 Resistor