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Buying Your Engineer or Scientist a New Photodiode for Christmas? 8 Questions to Ask When Selecting A Photodetector Manufacturer

1. How extensive is the photodiode manufacturer’s product offering? Do their photodiodes have the wavelength sensitivity, speed, active area, and other performance parameters to meet your photo- detection requirements?

The supplier should have a broad enough product line to meet your current and future needs.

They should have photodiodes in their line-up meeting your application’s wavelength sensitivity, speed, dark current, and size needs. For example, Marktech produces both silicon and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) photodiodes, which provide a wavelength sensitivity range from 250nm to 2600nm – or, over the ultraviolet (UVB), visible, near infrared (NIR) and short wave infrared (SWIR) bands. Marktech has an extensive line-up of photodiode detectors with these wavelengths with a range of active areas and package types. However, suppose the supplier only has one or few types of photodiodes. In that case, photodetectors may not be their main focus. As a result, they will not be able to provide as many choices, assistance in selecting the suitable detector, and guidance in developing detector specifications.

Marktech has 500+ standard or catalog detectors, LED products, and over 3000 customized products. Most catalog products are available immediately through our distributors, Digi-Key Electronics and Mouser Electronics.

In 2021, Marktech products became available in Japan through our latest partner, Rikei Corporation. Established 65 years ago in Tokyo, Rikei Corporation is a trusted trading partner and value-added solutions provider serving many electronic original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and communications companies. Rikei excels in system integration and component distribution, leveraging superior procurement skills, deep domain knowledge, and expertise in systems technology and electronics for high-quality solutions throughout the project lifecycle.

Marktech also has sales engineering representatives in Canada (ARL Group), Israel (Militram), and France & Germany (Syscom-Prorep). Our extensive offering and ability to tailor products to specific OEM design specifications have long set Marktech apart from other optoelectronic manufacturers. For example, Marktech’s photodiode detectors have various wavelength sensitivity ranges, active area sizes, and package types including TO can, SMD, PLCC, through-hole, and hermetic SMD packaging.

2. Are they familiar with specifying photodiodes for your industry application? Can the manufacturer modify or customize their photodiodes to suit your needs?

Custom 64 element Si PDA for ice particle measurements on aircraft wingtip.

The supplier should be familiar with your application or ideally developed or customized photodetectors for similar use cases. Every application can have unique details necessitating intricate modifications to detector specifications to enable viable detection levels. Off-the-shelf or catalog photodiodes can be sufficient for less demanding applications. However, we have found in many cases that customization of a photodiode in terms of wavelength sensitivity, active area size, package type, and hermetic properties can increase the overall performance and reduce the total cost of your design. The custom component cost might be slightly higher, but reducing part count and simplifying circuit designs can result in a total cost benefit. In addition, Marktech can further customize photodetector designs by adding amplifiers, thermionic coolers, and LED emitter in the same package. Marktech can also apply anti-reflective coatings and filter coatings to windows or lids. Marktech has partnered with many OEMs to develop specialized InGaAs and silicon photodiode detectors for aerospace, analytical instrument, automotive, automation & industrial sensing, medical, and wearable applications. Our products can be found on satellites, top-tier automobiles, non-invasive medical diagnostic devices, position sensors, spectrometers, refractometers, laser alignment systems, and colorimeters.

3. Does the supplier produce LED emitters with your application’s wavelength, power output, and package type?

Position sensing, spectrometry, refractometry, LiDAR, security, and other industrial applications often use photodetectors in conjunction with an LED emitter or light source. Therefore, the manufacturer should have LED emitters with the wavelength and power ranges to complement the photodetector selected. Marktech has an extensive line of LED emitters to provide the proper light source for InGaAs and silicon photodiode detectors selected. Marktech’s testing laboratories can evaluate both emitters and detectors. In addition, our labs can customize or sort LEDs to tighter or lower variations in peak wavelength (±1nm). Our optoelectronics engineers and LED experts can further customize LEDs with packaging and assembly options such as flex circuits, COB, and PCB.

4. How long has the photodiode manufacturer been in business under the same ownership? Are they increasing in size, facilities, and capabilities?

The photodiode manufacturer should be a stable business. If the manufacturer has changed hands through acquisitions or bankruptcies, closed factories, or cut many detector product offerings, then the supplier may not be the best supplier. Instead, look for an established supplier with stability and expanding product offerings, capabilities, manufacturing plants and testing laboratories. Marktech was founded in 1985 by Mark Campito, a Navy veteran, who is still the CEO. Marktech has continuously focused on testing and invested significantly in creating world-class optoelectronic testing laboratories capable of analyzing photodiode detectors and LEDs. Marktech’s philosophy is that optoelectronics testing is crucial in maintaining product quality and consistency. In 2021-22, Marktech upgraded our detector and LED testing facilities in Latham, NY. Marktech also installed extensive burn-in test capabilities for component and assembly evaluations. In 2014, Marktech built and opened a new state-of-art silicon photodiode manufacturing plant in Simi Valley, California. Marktech Optoelectronics has continuously operated in New York State since 1985.

5. Does the supplier have a history of innovation, quality, and reliability? How often are new products added to their line-up?

Cutting-edge optoelectronic design require a supplier with innovative product and a willingness to customize and try new approaches, and expand the capabilities of their photodiode when required by a customer’s application. The frequent additions of new products to a photodiode manufacturer’s catalog indicates growth and innovation. Marktech is constantly adding new and innovative product to their portfolio of photodetectors and LED emitters. In addition, Marktech’s photodiode detectors are recognized and sought after for their integrity and reliability.

In 2023, Marktech’s ATLAS Hermetic SMD Packaged InGaAs Photodiodes won the Best of Sensor award in the Aerospace/Space category at the Sensors Converge conference and exhibition. The award demonstrates Marktech’s ability to develop and manufacture high performance photonics products.

Marktech’s award winning, compact hermetic SMD ATLAS packaged InGaAs photodiode (right) compared to a bulky TO can packaged detector (left).

6. Is the photodiode supplier an integrated optoelectronics manufacturer?

Ideally, the photodiode supplier you select will be “integrated” or manufacture the photodiodes device at the wafer level, dice the wafers into photodiode chips, package the chips, and when required assemble onto printed circuit boards (PCB, COB, flex circuits). Manufacturing integration provides more control of the quality and consistency because a single company oversees every step of the photodiode manufacturing process. There is no finger-pointing between suppliers, and any quality issues are quickly identified and resolved. New photodiode detectors are rapidly developed and delivered as well. Marktech is an integrated InGaAs photodiodes manufacturer. Our InGaAs photodiodes are fabricated on our Custom Designed MOCVD chambers in Japan. The InGaAs detector die are packaged, assembled, and tested in the same facility. Our Japanese factory has extensive optoelectronic engineering and photodiode design expertise.

Our InGaAs photodiode detector factory in Japan

7. Can the manufacturer fully test the characteristics of photodiodes and LEDs? What type of testing facilities does the manufacturer have for evaluating photodiodes and LED emitters?

The ability to test is essential in assuring quality, troubleshooting application problems, and simulating field conditions. In some cases, testing can show how variations in the application or use of a photodiode causes detection issues, which can be resolved through packaging, end-product design changes, or photodiode chip specification adjustments. Marktech has extensive expertise and laboratories for optoelectronic testing of both detectors and LED emitters.

8. Will the manufacturer be able to deliver in time to meet your design project schedule? Does the supplier have catalog or standard photodiodes available through major distributors? Where are their photodiode manufacturing facilities located?

Photodiodes should be manufactured in a country without supply chain issues arising from COIVD shutdowns, political upheavals, sanctions, or transportation problems. Ideally, your photodiode supplier should be located near your factory or within the same country. If the manufacturer has a catalog or standard offering of photodiodes, then these products could be delivered rapidly. In addition, while the specific photodiode might have to be customized for your application, a standard photodiode might help move the development process forward and collect data to finalize the photodiode specification.

Marktech has manufacturing facilities in Simi Valley, California and in Japan. We have extensive optoelectronic engineering and testing laboratories in Latham, New York and in Japan. Marktech has one the shortest delivery lead times in the photodetector industry for standard and custom photodiodes. Marktech’s standard photodiodes are available through Digi-Key Electronics and Mouser Electronics, so there is still time to order a new photodiode optical sensor for your special person.

Next Steps

If you have specific technical or application questions regarding your optoelectronics design project or are just interested in learning more about Marktech’s silicon and InGaAs photodiodes, then please reach out to us through the following:

  1. Contact our application engineers: in**@ma**********.com
  2. Request for information (RFI) or request for quote (RFQ) form: Contact Us
  3. For major photodiode engineering projects, contact our U.S. factory directly: Vince Forte – CTO: fo***@ma**********.com, Barry Jones, Business Unit Manager b.*****@ma**********.com
  4. VISIT US AT SPIE Photonics West

If you can wait until after the holidays, then you can meet us at SPIE Photonics West 2024 in San Francisco Booth 237 to discuss your photodetection application with our experts.

About Marktech Optoelectronics

Marktech Optoelectronics, Inc. (, is a privately-held and veteran-owned leading designer and manufacturer of standard and custom optoelectronics, including UV, visible, near-infrared (NIR), and short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) LED emitters, silicon and InGaAs detectors, InP epi wafers, and other compound semiconductors.

Author & Media Contact:
Gary Kardys, Business Development Manager

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