Difference between Photodiodes and Solar Cells

Crystalline solar cells and photodiodes are basically the similar as p-n diodes. Nevertheless the diode is presented to light which give up a photocurrent notwithstanding the diode current. The majority of carriers give way to a photocurrent which contradicts the diode current in forward bias.


A photodiode can be said as semiconductor device which proselytes light into current. The current is produced when photons are caught up in the photodiode. Photodiodes are like general semiconductor diodes aside from that they might be either uncovered or bundled with optical fiber association with permit light to achieve the delicate piece of the gadget.

Solar cells

A solar cell, also known as photovoltaic cell, is an electrical gadget that changes over the vitality of light specifically into power by the photovoltaic impact, which is a physical and synthetic phenomenon. It is a type of photoelectric cell, characterized as a gadget whose electrical qualities, fluctuate when presented to light.

Photodiodes VS Solar Cells

In this article we are going to discuss different contrasts between photodiodes and solar cells so that we can get clear concept and understanding about them.

  • Usage:

A photodiode is prepared to identify light rapidly. Photodiode is utilized as a sensor to identify light; it is utilized as transducer to change over light into corresponding current.

Solar cells are prepared to gather power from light. The solar cell or photovoltaic (PV) cell can be utilized as a light identifying transducer.

  • Area:

A photodiode must be quick, which implies low capacitance, which implies little area of silicon. Consequently, it is not extremely sensitive, and can’t produce a great deal of power from light.

A solar cell has as substantial area that means high capacitance is there. It is kind of sensitive and can produce a greater amount of power from light.

  • Size:

A photodiode is of small size as it has small area.

A solar cell or photovoltaic cell mostly is in greater size and larger area as compare to photodiodes.

  • Reverse bias:

The photodiodes can be utilized in forward bias as well as reverse bias, this produces only the reverse current because of minority transporters yet this extraordinarily enhances the response time which is essential in numerous applications.

Solar cell or photovoltaic cell can be utilized only in forward bias as they never utilized in the reverse bias.

  • Response time:

Photodiodes are physically composed in an approach to yield the current as quick as could be expected under the circumstances that means this is done in lesser response time.

Solar cells take more response time as compare to photodiodes but for solar cells, we give it a second thought more about amount of photons ingested (assimilation effectiveness) instead of response time.

  • Applications:

Photodiodes are used in Intruder alarms, smoke detector, remote control and home door sensor.

Solar cells are used in hand-held calculators, communication satellites and battery chargers.


From the above article we can conclude that photodiode is of smaller area whereas solar cells are of larger area.