Comparison of EM-CCD and scientific CMOS based camera systems for high resolution X-ray imaging and tomography applications

Tutt, J. H.; Hall, D. J.; Soman, M. R.; Holland, A. D.; Warren, A. J.; Connolley, T. and Evagora, A. M. (2014). Comparison of EM-CCD and scientific CMOS based camera systems for high resolution X-ray imaging and tomography applications. Journal of Instrumentation, 9(6), article no. P06017.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/9/06/P06017

Abstract

We have developed an Electron Multiplying (EM) CCD based, high frame rate camera system using an optical lens system for X-ray imaging and tomography. The current state of the art systems generally use scientific CMOS sensors that have a readout noise of a few electrons and operate at high frame rates. Through the use of electron multiplication, the EM-CCD camera is able to operate with a sub-electron equivalent readout noise and a frame rate of up to 50 HZ (full-frame). The EM-CCD-based camera system has a major advantage over existing technology in that it has a high signal-to-noise ratio even at very low signal levels. This allows radiation-sensitive samples to be analysed with low flux X-ray beams which greatly reduces the beam damage. This paper shows that under the conditions of this experiment the EM-CCD camera system has a comparable spatial resolution performance to the scientific CMOS based imaging system and has a superior signal-to-noise ratio.

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