Solid-state personal dosimeters using semiconductor detectors have been widely used because of their simplicity and real time operation. In this paper, a personal dosimeter based on a silicon PIN photodiode has been optimally designed by the Monte Carlo method and also developed. For performance test, the developed dosimeter was irradiated within the energy range between 50 keV and 1.25 MeV, the exposure dose rate between 3 mR/h and 25 R/h. The thickness of 0.2 mm Cu and 1.0 mm Al was selected as an optimal filter by simulation results. For minimizing the non-linear sensitivity on energy, dose conversion algorithm was presented, which was able to consider pulse number as well as pulse amplitude related to absorbed energies. The sensitivities of dosimeters developed by the proposed algorithm and the conventional method were compared and analyzed in detail. When dose conversion algorithm was used, the linearity of sensitivity was better about 38%. This dosimeter will be used for above 65 keV within the relative response of +/- 10% to Cs-137. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.