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Cameras

Cameras

Advantage of our cameras

A high-performance camera enabling high-quality imaging must maintain a good balance of low readout noise, low dark current, and high quantum efficiency at the optimum level.
By pursuing the three elements required for high-quality imaging, we have obtained extensive knowledge of producing our unique and high specification cameras, from sensor development to circuit design.

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Quantum efficiency refers to the ratio of incident photons converted into electric charge. Realizing higher quantum efficiency means that the limited single photon is accurately output to the corresponding single signal. To achieve this, it is crucial to minimize loss until the photons are converted to pixels. The back-thinned type sensor adopted by Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. eliminates the photon absorption (loss) by electrodes and realizes a high quantum efficiency of 98 %. Light collection efficiency per pixel is also improved by the on-chip microlens embedded to the back-thinned type sensor.

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CCDs have noise content known as dark current, which is attributable to thermal electrons inside. In order to produce high-quality images, it is important to minimize the dark current. EM-CCD cameras used for ultra-low light imaging features the photomultiplier mechanism. This mechanism is also known to amplify the dark current. For this reason, it is essential to find a good solution for minimizing the dark current. Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. adopted the vacuum tube and the Peltier cooling system to cool down the elements as low as -80 ℃. They have minimized the dark current down to 0.0005 electrons/pixel/s(e/p/s) while stabilizing performance.

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Scientific CMOS (sCMOS) sensors utilize a technology where each horizontal line is read by the on-chip column amplifier in parallel in order to lower the amplifier’s band and keep the readout noise low. To ensure lower readout noise for the cameras, the circuit must be designed in a way to optimize performance. By accurately identifying the readout noise distribution per pixel and designing an optimum circuit according to the characteristics, Hamamatsu Photonics K.K.’ sCMOS cameras deliver extremely low readout noise at 0.8 electrons.

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