Optoelectronics and Their Common Types

Optoelectronics is a specific field of electronics that centers around devices that either emit or detect light. To carry out such operations, a hardware device may either convert electrical energy into light, or utilize semiconductors to transform light into electricity. In this blog, we will discuss optoelectronics and their common types, allowing you to better understand how such devices are used. 

To create light with an emitting device, voltage and current is relied on for the generation of electromagnetic radiation in the form of visible light. Light emitting devices may come in a number of forms, common ones being light emitting diode (LED) components, indicator lights, and more. With light detecting devices such as phototransistors, on the other hand, electromagnetic energy is converted into electric current or voltage. Examples of light detecting devices include remote controls, darkness activated switches, and other apparatuses. Below, we will provide an overview of some of the most common optoelectronics.


Photodiodes are a form of semiconductor device that is capable of transforming light into electrical current, relying on the absorption of photons for their operation. Photodiodes can be used for numerous applications, one common implementation being solar cells that generate electric solar power. When the solar cell is in sunlight, a current and voltage are generated for power.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Light emitting diodes are semiconductor devices that produce light as current flows through them. With the use of electrons that combine with electron holes when current is induced, energy is released in the form of photons. Generally, the color of light that is produced by a light emitting diode will depend upon the energy that is required for electrons to pass across the band gap of the semiconductor. 

Optical Fibers

Optical fibers are common for communication and power transfer applications, coming in the form of flexible, transparent fibers that are constructed from ultra-thin strands of plastic or drawing glass. For their functionality, optical fiber components transmit signals across distances in the form of light, ensuring less loss and increased strength over conventional metal wiring. Alongside communication and power transmission, such components may also be used as sensors or for other various applications.

Laser Diodes

A laser diode is fairly similar to a light emitting diode, differing in the fact that they create light by dropping an electron from a higher energy level to a lower one to generate a photon for emission. The wavelength of the emitted beam depends upon the type of semiconductor material that is used, and the most common wavelengths are those that range from infrared to UV. Generally, such components commonly find use for fiber optic communications, laser pointers, barcode readers, CD discs, laser printing, and more. 
As optoelectronics are common to various everyday applications, it can be useful to understand their importance and types. If you find yourself in need of various optoelectronics and other industrial components, look no further than Industrial Gamut; your trusted supplier for new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts. Take the time to explore our vast inventory of parts at your leisure, and our team is always ready to assist you through the purchasing process however necessary. Give our team members a call or email today and see why customers choose to steadily rely on Industrial Gamut for all their operational needs.


Recent Twitter Posts

Semiconductor's Certifications and Memberships

Thank You for Visiting.

We hope that you will visit us again the next time you need industrial parts and make us your strategic purchasing partner.

Request for Quote

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.