Intensified sCMOS Cameras
The pco.dicam series combines image intensifier technology with the full power of low-noise sCMOS sensors. An efficient tandem lens provides the critical optical interface between the high-resolution 25 mm image intensifier and the 16 bit sCMOS sensor. With pco.dicam, it is possible to detect individual photons using the shortest exposure times.
The innovative photonics of this camera series is supplemented with the use of a high-performance data interface, enabling data transmission over long distances via fiber optic cable. These cameras use a Camera Link HS (10G fiber optic data interface) which guarantees the secure transmission of uncompressed data.
In addition to the single-channel configuration (pco.dicam C1), multi-channel configurations are also available. In the above table, the performance of 1x, 4x and 8x systems from the pco.dicam series are shown for comparison and selection.
Image intensifiers increase the intensity of the available light in a system, allowing better image reproduction in low light scenarios. Image intensification is useful if a few photons have to be detected in an extremely short exposure time of a few nanoseconds, which emCCD and sCMOS cannot match. Image intensifiers allow such extremely short exposure times - often referred to as gating.
Nanosecond exposure times are about 6 orders of magnitude shorter than the corresponding sensor readout times even when the intensifier is coupled with fast state of the art sCMOS sensors. Thus it is essential that the “light leakage” into the readout process is extremely small. This leakage rate is best described quantitatively by the term shutter ratio. Proper synchronization and control of the different components that shape the light signal path can achieve shutter ratios better than 10-9.
The typical reaction times of most conventional imagers (CMOS, sCMOS, CCD) to an externally triggered event are at least a few microseconds. This is due to the fact that previously accumulated charge on pixels must be cleared prior to the initiation of a new exposure. The photocathode of an image intensifier can be switched from closed to open with a much shorter latency — response times of less than 50 nanoseconds are feasible. Thus, optical events with a very short pre-alert time, out of reach for CCD, CMOS and sCMOS sensors, can be captured with image intensification technology.
Key reasons to use Intensified sCMOS Cameras:
- When it is critical for a few photons to be detected in an extremely short exposure time (down to a few nanoseconds)
- When a shutter ratio of 10-6 or more is required. In such cases, non-intensified cameras lack the ability to block the light before and after exposure.
- When an extremely short reaction time to an external trigger event is necessary
- In double image mode with configurable interframing time and configurable second exposure time (PIV applications)
- When it is necessary to detect low-light images at VUV wavelengths as low as 120nm
Intensified cameras are NOT suitable for:
- Imaging with exposures in the milliseconds (and longer)
INTENSIFIED sCMOS CAMERA DETAILS
APPLICATIONS OF INTENSIFIED sCMOS CAMERAS
- Ballistic imaging/Projectile imaging
- High resolution, Accurate triggering
- Nonlinearity of electrical discharge dynamics
- High resolution, Accurate triggering
- Hyper velocity impact studies
- High resolution, Accurate triggering. Multiple frames important
- Combustion imaging - Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and chemiluminescence
- PLIF (Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence Imaging) - Flow and Spray Analysis
- High resolution, short exposure time capabilities, Good extinction ratio under UV/Blue wavelengths
- Double shutter capabilities
- Dynamic Neutron Radiography
- Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)
- Quantum Physics
- Plasma Diagnostics / Imaging
- Short exposure time capabilities, Low jitter, external triggering
- LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy)