App note: Using MCP6491 Op Amps for photodetection applications


This app note discusses how to detect the intensity, position, color
and presence of light:

Low input bias operational amplifiers (op amps) are often required for a wide range of photodetection applications, in order to reduce current error and improve the accuracy of the output signal.

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  1. Reminds me of way older applications from National Semiconductor (now merged in TI), where the short-circuit current of the photodiode was better employed, wisely operating the op-amp in the best operational point for Vos (just adding a resistor).
    See on page 20; the original application note dates back to 1986 in the printed edition I have.
    I used with success a similar approach in the ’90s, with a mature LMC6482 that can still sport an input current 50 times lower than the Microchip device (20 fA vs. 1 pA).

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