IR Reflective Sensor: TCRT5000 Datasheet


TCRT5000 reflective optical sensor with transistor output (Source: Vishay)

TCRT5000 reflective optical sensor with transistor output (Source: Vishay)

A reflective optical sensor uses light to detect the presence or absence of an object or to measure a particular characteristic of the object. A photodetector and a light source are typically placed close to each other, with the object to be detected in the middle. This sensor is popular for its simplicity, reliability, and versatility in various applications. Increased automation has expanded the demand for these sensors and spurred the development of new types.

Vishay’s TCRT5000 is a reflective optical sensor with transistor output (the TCRT5000L is the long lead version of the sensor). The TCRT5000 contains an infrared (IR)-emitting diode as a transmitter and a phototransistor as a receiver. The transmitters emit radiation of a wavelength of 950 nm, and the spectral sensitivity of the phototransistor is optimized at this wavelength. An understanding of the TCRT5000 datasheet is necessary when leveraging its advantages for various applications.

TCRT500 IR Reflective Sensor Overview

The TCRT5000 sensor is a well-known general purpose sensor. PCB designers and engineers utilize the device in a number of applications. It is also commonly used in Arduino-based designs.  Important features and typical implementations are shown in the table below.


Important Features

Common Applications

IR emitter and phototransistor in single IC

Shaft encoder position sensor

Daylight blocking filter

Reflective material detector

Operating distance of 2.5 mm

VCR mechanical motion limit switch

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant

General purpose sensor for space-constrained applications

Applications of the TCRT5000 incorporate lenses in both the emitter and detector. The angular characteristics of both are divergent, which is needed to achieve a position-independent function for practical use with different reflecting objects. The concentration of the beam pattern to an angle of 16° for the emitter and 30° for the detector results in operation at an increased range with optimized resolution.

The dimensions of the TCRT5000 are 10.2 millimeters (mm) x 5.8 mm x 7 mm, and its peak operating distance is 2.5 mm. Its typical output current under test is 1 mA (IC), and its emitter wavelength is 950 nm. It also has an integrated daylight-blocking filter. The distance for best resolution is 1.5 mm, and the minimum switching distance is 1.9 mm. TCRT5000 ‘s optimum working distance is 0.2 to 6.5 mm.

Although a relatively simple component, the best designs leverage the data and information from the TCRT5000 datasheet.

Understanding the TCRT5000 Datasheet

The table from the datasheet below shows the maximum stress the reflective optical sensor can endure.

Electrical and thermal maximum ratings for the TCRT5000.

Electrical and thermal maximum ratings for the TCRT5000.

As we can see, the TCRT5000 input (emitter) can safely handle a maximum reverse voltage of 5 V (VR) and a maximum forward current of 60 mA (IF). The output (detector) has a maximum collector emitter voltage of 70 V (VCEO) and a maximum collector current of 100 mA (Ic). The sensor has maximum power dissipation of 200 mW (Ptot) and an ambient temperature range of -25 to +85 degrees Celsius (Tamb).

The graph from the TCRT5000 datasheet below shows the power dissipation limit vs. the ambient temperature for the sensor:

Power dissipation vs temperature for the TCRT5000.

Power dissipation vs temperature for the TCRT5000. 

In addition to the electrical and thermal constraints above. The TCRT5000 datasheet provides essential design specifications, as listed below.

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