pco.edge family the most versatile sCMOS

product overview
pco.edge family
the most versatile
sCMOS camera portfolio
on the market
pioneer in sCMOS image sensor technology
sCMOS knowledge base
sCMOS – General Information
PCO sCMOS cameras are a breakthrough in scientific camera development by
combining the advantages of CCD and CMOS technology in a single device. The
lowest readout noise, wide dynamic range, and fast frame rates all at high resolution
are achieved at the same time with the very compact camera head.
Pixel Size
In a popular misconception it is
assumed that the larger the pixel size the better the sensitivity.
However it is pixel architecture
and electronic layout which have
a crucial influence on the pixel
sensitivity. The unique design of
the square 6.5 µm sCMOS pixel
allows for very high full well capacity, a large light sensitive area;
and an extremely low readout
noise. Furthermore the 6.5 µm
pixel size has proven in the past
Quantum Efficiency (QE)
wavelength
the highest versatility in adapting to the resolution requirements of most applications,
like special microscopy setups.
Full Well Capacity
This is the maximum usable amount of electrons which a single pixel can
hold before recombination and other non linear effects have to be considered. In relation to their pixel size of 6.5 µm, sCMOS pixels excel with a surprisingly high full well capacity of 30.000 electrons, which is a prerequisite
for the huge dynamic range provided by these sensors.
Dynamic Range
The contrast between the brightest and the weakest measurable light signal in the same image defines the „intra-scene“ dynamic range of a sensor.
Whereas the full well capacity sets the upper limit for the brightest signal,
it is effectively the readout noise which sets the lower detection limit. With
the sCMOS values of 30 000 electrons full well and around 1 electron rms
readout noise, signal-to-noise can range from 88.6 - 91.1 dB, depending on
camera choice.
Illustration of two image sensors within the image
circle of the same lens. Image sensor [1] has pixels
with the quarter size area of the pixels of sensor [2].
The QE value of a sensor indicates the percentage of incoming
photons generating a photo
electron. An ideal sensor would
achieve 100% QE. All our pco.
edge series cameras are based
on two similar sCMOS sensor
designs exceeding 60% or even
70% QE. In addition the pco.edge
3.1 and 5.5 models are available
as color sensor versions using
high quality RGB Bayer filters.
The same extract of a larger image of neurons with a fluorescent marker for Calcium with different scaling to the
8 bit world: For all evaluations, it has been the same image! It is important that high dynamic images are properly
displayed.
Binning
In general, no conventional physical binning at the charge carrier level (as
on CCDs) is possible with CMOS image sensors because the charge to
voltage conversion already happens on each individual pixel. Summing up
the voltage values of neighboring pixels means also summing up the noise
attributed by that conversion. Although doing so increases the SNR, the
effect is less advantageous than summing up the primary charge carrier
packages of neighboring CCD pixels. Scientific CMOS cameras from PCO
offer as standard binning modes all combinations from H1xV1 to H4xV4.
sCMOS knowledge base
Dark Signal Non-Uniformity (DSNU)
PCO cameras deliver a very homogeneous and stable dark image which is beneficial especially in low
light applications. DSNU is defined as the spatial signal variation between pixels without illumination.
One of the main causes for these variations are slight differences between the individual column amplifiers. DSNU values measured for all of the pco.edge cameras according to EMVA 1288 standards are
well below 1 e- rms.
Photon Response Non-Uniformity (PRNU)
Differences in the behavior of the column amplifiers affect not only the dark image but also the illuminated image, e.g. by column to column variation of the amplifier gain. A quantitative measure for pixel to
pixel variations caused by these variations is the PRNU value as defined in EMVA 1288 standard. PRNU
values measured for all pco.edge sCMOS cameras are below 0.5%, indicating that neighboring pixel
differ less than 0.5% in their reaction to the same light signal.
Linearity
For most measurement applications it is very convenient to have a linear response of the output signal
to changes in light input. Deviations from such a linear behavior are addressed as non-linearity. All pco.
edge cameras employ the necessary electronic components and firmware algorithms to correct the
non-linear behavior in real time providing for linearity > 99%.
pioneer in sCMOS image sensor technology
on the
cutting
edge
Optimized Microscopy & Scanning Readout Modes
The pco.edge cameras offer a variety of readout modes which are optimized for advanced microscopy imaging and scanning techniques like
lightsheet microscopy, selective plane imaging microscopy (SPIM), structured illumination microscopy (SIM), localization microscopy (GSD, PALM
STORM) and spinning disk confocal microscopy.
An exposure area (between the orange bars,
e.g. five lines) can be user defined. It is possible
for the user to select the number of lines and
the exposure time per line. Minimum line time
value is 27.6 µs and it is selectable up to 100 ms.
This user-defined capability makes it possible
to synchronize the pco.edge cameras with a
lightsheet microscope that requires this method
of camera exposure timing.
new
new
pco.edge sCMOS
pco.edge
5.5 Camera Link
pco.edge
5.5 USB
pco.edge
4.2 Camera Link
pco.edge
4.2 USB
pco.edge
3.1 USB
pco.edge
4.2 LT USB
pco.edge
gold 5.5 USB
pco.edge
gold 4.2 USB
resolution
2560 x 2160
2560 x 2160
2048 x 2048
2048 x 2048
2048 x 1536
2048 x 2048
2560 x 2160
2048 x 2048
sensor
CIS 2521
CIS 2521
CIS 2020
CIS 2020
CIS 2521
CIS 2020
CIS 2521
CIS 2020
max. frame rate
@ full resolution
100 fps
30 fps
100 fps
40 fps
50 fps
40 fps
30 fps
40 fps
1280 x 1024
212 fps
63 fps
200 fps
80 fps
77 fps
80 fps
63 fps
80 fps
640 x 480
450 fps
134 fps
426 fps
170 fps
164 fps
170 fps
134 fps
170 fps
lowest
readout noise (med)
1.1 e-
1.0 e-
0.9 e-
0.8 e-
1.1 e-
0.8 e-
1.0 e-
0.8 e-
peak quantum
efficiency
>60 %
>60 %
>70 %
>70 %
>60 %
>70 %
>60 %
>70 %
dynamic range
27000 : 1
88.6 dB
30000 : 1
89.5 dB
33000 : 1
90.4 dB
36000 : 1
91.1 dB
27000 : 1
88.6 dB
36000 : 1
91.1 dB
30000 : 1
89.5 dB
36000 : 1
91.1 dB
100µs - 20s
500µs - 2s
100µs - 10s
500µs - 10s
100µs - 60s
30µs - 2s
30µs - 2s
30µs - 2s
new
new
Water-Cooling
A high-grade water-cooling system is available providing vibration-free
operation with an extremely stabilized sensor temperature and fast cooling operation. If you use more than one camera, PCO’s powerful water
cooler can easily operate four pco.edge cameras. Furthermore, operation with fan cooling is still possible without the water cooled component.
Deep-Cooling
Two special deep-cooled cameras are available: pco.edge gold 4.2 and
5.5. Both provide cooling down of the sCMOS sensor to -30°C absolute
for extraordinary long exposure times with very low dark current noise.
The sensor compartments of the pco.edge gold-series are manufactured as high-vacuum technology chamber and along with the massive
gold-plated heat sink, PCO has created an outstanding sCMOS-camera
system.
lightsheet
option
lightsheet
option
lightsheet
option
exposure time
rolling shutter
500µs - 2s
500µs - 2s
exposure time
global reset
10µs - 2s
30µs - 2s
exposure time
global shutter
10µs - 100 ms
20µs - 100ms
cooling
+5 °C air
+ 5 °C water
0 °C air
0 °C water
+5 °C air
+ 5 °C water
0 °C air
0 °C water
+ 5 °C air
+10 °C air
-30 °C water
-15 °C air
-30 °C water
-15 °C air
interface
Camera Link
USB 3.0
Camera Link
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
USB 3.0
100µs - 10s
20µs - 100ms
sensor CIS 2521
color
sensor CIS 2521
monochrome
deep
cooled
Global Shutter
If you want to capture fast moving objects, using a rolling shutter can cause distortions, e.g. motion-blur. This is because the line-by-line exposure
leads to small exposure time differences as the shutter „rolls“ through the
image. If this phenomenon disturbs your image analysis, using the global
shutter mode is the solution. Thereby, the exposure starts after a reset of
all charge collecting diffusion nodes in all pixels and a dark image is read
out. Then after the exposure and readout, the dark image is subtracted
from the real exposed image to perform an correlated double sampling,
which reduces the inherent noise.
deep
cooled
Small Form Factor
The pco.edge cameras are ultra-compact and light weight with standard
dimensions of just 103 x 76 x 70 mm and weight of 700 grams (Camera Link version). Such a small form factor allows easy-fitting in different
experimental setups and therefore makes the pco.edge to a universal
multi-use scientific tool.
For detailed data sheets please visit
our website www.pco.de
sensor CIS 2020
monochrome
pco.
findfind
us us
europe
PCO AG
Donaupark 11
93309 Kelheim, Germany
fon +49 (0)9441 2005 50
fax +49 (0)9441 2005 20
[email protected]
www.pco.de
america
PCO-TECH Inc.
6930 Metroplex Drive
Romulus, Michigan 48174, USA
fon +1 (248) 276 8820
fax +1 (248) 276 8825
[email protected]
www.pco-tech.com
asia
PCO Imaging Asia Pte.
3 Temasek Ave
Centennial Tower, Level 34
Singapore, 039190
fon +65-6549-7054
fax +65-6549-7001
[email protected]
www.pco-imaging.de
subject to changes without prior notice I ©PCO AG, Kelheim
pco_scmos overview | v1.04
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