A method is shown for producing a distributed PN photodiode having a first active region of the photodiode that can be made arbitrarily thin. A fabrication substrate is doped to have a first conductivity type in order to form the first active region of the photodiode. A layer can also be formed upon the first surface of the fabrication substrate or a first surface of a handling wafer, where the layer can be an oxide layer, where a thickness of the oxide layer can be controlled to form a dielectric refractive reflector, a reflective layer, or a conductive layer. The first surface of the handling substrate is bonded to the first surface of the fabrication substrate. A second surface of the fabrication is then lapped to a obtain a preselected thickness of the first active region. A plurality of second active regions of the photodiode having a second conductivity type is formed on the second surface of the fabrication substrate. A contact having a plurality of connective traces is formed on the second surface of the fabrication substrate, where the connective traces are electrically coupled to the second active regions.