Optocouplers & Photodetectors
What are optocouplers?
An Optocoupler, also known as a photocoupler or optical isolator, is an electronic component that interconnects two electrical circuits using an LED and a phototransistor, housed in the same opaque package. There are also other types of source-sensor combinations which include LED-photodiode, LED-LASCR, and lamp-photoresistor pairs. These different pairings can have various effects as a result of the materials used, such as impact on speed. Optocouplers are used mainly to couple isolated circuits and have a range of uses in both domestic and industrial applications - often used on building sites.
- Photodiodes: also known as a diode, is a semiconductor device that converts light into an electrical current, generated when photons are absorbed. Other types of optocouplers include photodarlingtons and TRIACs.
- Reflective optical sensors: normally used in automotive production, but can also be found in manufacturing processes to ensure they run smoothly. They use a system of mirrors and light beams that sense when they are interrupted to report and show faults.
- Digital isolators: used to ensure accuracy in circuits by eliminating ground loop errors to improve performance. They can also help develop component safety as isolation devices allowing circuits to coexist and communicate without interruption or signal interference.