A new high quantum efficiency gallium phosphide Schottky photodiode has been developed by spray deposition of heavily doped tin oxide films on n-type epitaxial structures, as an alternative to the conventional Schottky photodiodes using a semitransparent gold electrode. It is shown that fluorine-doped tin oxide films are more effective as transparent electrodes than tin-doped indium oxide films. The proposed photodiodes have a typical responsivity near 0.33 A W-1 at 440 nm and an unbiased internal quantum efficiency close to 100%, in the range from 250 to 450 nm. The model used to calculate the internal quantum efficiency (based on the optical constants of tin oxide films and gallium phosphide epitaxial layers) is found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. The data show that the quantum efficiency is strongly dependent on the thickness of the transparent electrode, owing to optical interference effects. The noise equivalent power for 440 nm is 2.7 × 10-15 W Hz-1/2, which indicates that these photodiodes can be used for accurate measurements in the short-wavelength range, even in the presence of stronger infrared background radiation.