IR-Photo Diode Sensor

IR-Sensor imageThis Sensor module works on the principle of Reflection of Infrared Rays from the incident surface. A continuous beam of IR rays is emitted by the IR LED. Whenever a reflecting surface (white/obstacle) comes in front of the Receiver (photo diode), these rays are reflected back and captured. Whenever an absorbing surface (Black/No Obstacle) comes in front of the Receiver, these rays are absorbed by the surface and thus unable to be captured.



  1. Active Low on object detection
  2. 3 pin easy interface connector
  3. Indicator LED
  4. Potentiometer for changing the range of detection


  1. Line Follower sensor
  2. Obstacle Avoidance Robot
  3. Edge avoiding robot
  4. Anti-falling robot
  5. Light/Fire sensing


Basic Block Diagram:

Basic Block Diagram



IR LED is used in this circuit to transmit infrared light.

An Infrared light-emitting diode (IR LED) is a type of electronic device that emits infrared light not visible to the naked eye.

The wavelength and colour of the light produced depend on the material used in the diode. Infrared LEDs use material that produces light in the infrared part of the spectrum, that is, just below what the human eye can see. Different infrared LEDs may produce

infrared light of differing wavelengths, just like different LEDs produce light of different colours.

Since the human eye cannot see the infrared radiations, it is not possible for a person to identify whether the IR LED is working or not, unlike a common LED. To overcome this problem, the camera on a cell phone can be used. The camera can show us the IR rays being emanated from the IR LED in a circuit.



Here Photo diode is used to capture reflected light of IR LED.

A semiconductor diode that, when exposed to light, generates a potential difference or changes its electrical resistance.

A Photo diode is a reverse biased silicon or germanium pn junction in which reverse current increases when the junction is exposed to light.

When no light is incident on the pn junction of photo diode, the reverse current is extremely small. This is called DARK CURRENT.

When light is incident on the pn junction of the photo diode there is a transfer of energy from the incident light (photons) to the atoms in the junction .this will create more free electrons (and more holes) these additional free electrons will increase the reverse current.This electrical energy can be recorded as voltage drop fluctuations by using a series resistor in the outer circuit and taking voltage readings across it.


Analog to Digital Converter:

It is clear that the output of the Photo diode is an analog voltage. If you want to use this sensor as an analog output sensor then there is no need to use any comparator. We can give this analog value directly to Microcontroller’s ADC pin.

analog ir module

Some Microcontrollers do not have ADC peripheral (For example 8051) and also sometimes we want to feed pre-processed data to microcontroller (Hardware/Software trade off). So if you want digital output from this sensor, we can use Comparator for that.




V0 = High when V+ > V-

V0 = Low when V+ < V-





LM-358 (Op-Amp IC):

The LM-358 IC consists of two independent operational amplifiers which were designed specifically to operate from a single power supply over a wide range of voltages.

Here Op-amp is used as comparator.

Pin configuration of LM-358 is giving as follows-



One Light Emitting Diode is used in this circuit for indicating the output logic of this IR sensor.

More Images:

cover - Copy


IR-Photo Diode Sensor - Copy


       1.  Bottom Copper Layer-                    2.   Silk Screen Layer –                   3.   Bottom & Silk screen layer-







Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above.


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44 Responses to IR-Photo Diode Sensor

  1. Pingback: Line Follower Using 2051 | For electronics

  2. tony says:

    Can you tell me a solution for how to exclude background light from falling on IR photo diode. apart from fixing a black tape around the photodiode

  3. Pingback: TSOP based IR Sensor | For electronics

  4. manjunathan says:

    How to increase the current,when less intense of ir light in the ir photo diode

    • sorry for late reply, I was quite busy from last few months….
      well about your question—
      If you want to increase current from IR LED then you should decrease the resistance which is connected in series with that LED.

  5. can i use 7805 voltage regulator to get 5v from 9v battery? shall i use the ground terminal of battery to ground the other components of the circuit?

  6. AYUSH TIWARI says:

    thanks for giving such a lucid description of ir emitter & receiver.Sir i live in raebareli where this photodiode is not available so please can you tell me where i can get it and what is the reasonable price for the emitter and receiver.Thank you once again.

    • Piyush Gupta says:

      Hello Ayush, Thanks for your complement.
      About your question- you can go to Naka, Lucknow. There are many shops from where you can buy these types of components. You can buy online also. You will get a pair of a IR Transmitter & Receiver in approx Rs 20.

  7. premal says:

    how to make analog ir sensor modul

  8. hieupm says:

    Can I know which type resistors you use? 470,1k and 100k(as in schmatic) or 1k,1m(as in pcb layout)? Thanks for reading?

  9. pankajparmar says:

    Photo diode is available in diffrent types?

  10. Hello,
    I’ve tried to do this IR sensor, but I have a little problem, when I put it IR led next to IR receiver it doesn’t work, by the other hand if I place them face to face it works perfect. Could you please help me to solve this problem cause I need to put them side to side, not face to face.

  11. Sadikan says:

    Dear sir I like to know more about photodiodes

  12. Carlo says:

    sir I want to know how can i invert the output. I want to use this in my obstacle avoiding bot the problem is when the led is on the dc motor is on and when the LED is off the motor is off, how can i invert the logic behind, so that I can make it when there is an obstacle the led is on and the motor will going to turn off and when the led is off the motor is on. please help me.

    • Piyush Gupta says:

      Answer of your question –
      You can invert the output logic by swapping the inputs to op-amp. In circuit given in post, photo-diode output is connected to non-inverting input and 10K potentiometer is connected to inverting input of op-amp.
      You can swap connections,,,, connect photo-diode output to inverting input and potentiometer to non-inverting input of op-amp.

      My suggestion –
      Do not change sensor circuit,,,, change the way you are connecting motor to sensor.
      And also it will be better to use TSOP photo-diode sensor as ambient light will disturbe ir-photo-diode sensor.

      Send me circuit, how are you connecting motor and sensor. You can post your question with circuit on my Facebook page or group.

  13. Ishan Badgainya says:

    The above circuit gives me two voltages.
    0.7V when IR does not detect object
    3.7V when it detects something.

    How can I reduce the 0.7V to 0V ?
    Preset does not helps.

  14. Ryan says:

    Does any kind of photodiode works as an IR receiver? I’ve bought a photodiode that has smaller size (really small) than the common photodiodes I’ve seen on the internet like the one similar above which actually just looks like an LED and the problem is that it seems to be only working with a normal light from the background and doesn’t work with the IR LED.

  15. Prashant says:

    Sir, is the output voltage of an active IR receiver enough to drive an LED? i.e. without converting analog signal to digital signal?

  16. noman ali says:


  17. Sir what is potentiometer used for?

    • Piyush Gupta says:

      On non-inverting input of Op-Amp, output from photo-diode is connected. On inverting input of Op-Amp, 10K potentiometer is connected.
      Photo-diode will give output according to light intensity. Op-Amp is used as a Comparator. By using potentiometer we are giving a threshold voltage by which Op-Amp has to compare the photo-diode output. We can calibrate the output of the sensor according to the requirement.

  18. jagdish says:

    I did not get o or 5 out put voltage of ir but 1.7 to 3.8 v dc so ii can not operate 5 voltage dc relay give me suggestions for it

    • Piyush Gupta says:

      1. Whatever output you are getting, it is correct. If you want 0 volt and 5 volt output, you have to make a perfect comparator circuit. If you compare this circuit from the perfect comparator circuit using Op-Amp, then you will get to know the difference.
      2. Even if you will get 5 volt output then also you can’t operate 5 volt relay by this sensor directly .

      a. Relay is an inductive load. This sensor will not give sufficient current at output to drive your relay.
      b. Even if you have a miniature relay with less coil resistance then also you need a flyback/freewheel diode across the coil to protect against reverse voltage fly back caused when you turn off the relay.

      Solution: You can use a transistor as a switch with flyback diode to operate your relay.
      Or you can use relay driver ICs.

  19. Ron Kidney says:

    Here’s an interesting one.
    Using a IR remote and its receiver
    Is it possible to operate a device (radio) not in the line of sight using a fiber optic cable?
    If so, how would one go about it? Some sort of magnifying lens at each end?
    Thank you, Ron

    • Piyush Gupta says:

      Ya it is possible to transfer data using optical fiber cable. You need to search for a proper coupling mechanism.
      Well, already these kinds of ready to use Tx-Rx modules are available.

  20. Rajiv parbat says:

    Distance between led sensor and photodiod??

    • Piyush Gupta says:

      Distance is not fixed, you can change it according to your requirement. If you are asking specifically for the module which is explained in this post, you can refer PCB Layout given at the last of this post.

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