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Additional resources for Photodetection and Measurement - Maximizing Performance in Optical Systems
A single discrete FET or bipolar Darlington transistor source/ emitter-follower sufﬁces for this. See Hickman (1995) for a good explanation. Last, big improvements in bandwidth are possible by interposing a discrete transistor common-base ampliﬁer between the photodiode and the transimpedance amp. The photocurrent ﬂows into or out of the emitter, with the collector connected to the inverting opamp input. The base is grounded. As the emitter/collector current transfer ratio is very close to unity, the photocurrent ﬂows also through the transimpedance, as normal.
For a detailed discussion and practical circuits see Hobbs (2000). 8 Summary This chapter has given several circuit fragments for making practical use of your photodiode, and you will ﬁnd even more approaches in the literature. We have gone through some of the fundamentals and even built a few circuits to see the big differences, especially in detection bandwidth, that small changes in design and even construction can make. The key issues are the capacitance of the photodiode, limiting speed through its interaction with the load resistor, and the difﬁculty of making large value load resistors which look resistive out to high frequencies.
To obtain the full variation in photoevents detected per unit time, the above Poisson distribution for photodetection needs to be multiplied by the stochastic distribution of the incident radiation photons. This depends on whether the incident optical ﬁeld is highly coherent, like that from a well-controlled laser, or is thermal radiation such as from a hot ﬁlament, gas discharge tube, or LED. These complex issues are treated by the subject of photon statistics and are not addressed further here.