Princeton Instruments' New KURO Camera Is World's First to Utilize Back-Illuminated Scientific CMOS Sensor Technology for Ultra-Low-Light Imaging & Spectroscopy

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The KURO:1200B camera delivers both the fast frame rates and the exceptional sensitivity needed for applications such as hyperspectral imaging, astronomy, cold-atom imaging, quantum imaging, fluorescence spectroscopy, and high-speed spectroscopy, all whilst eliminating the drawbacks commonly associated with front-illuminated scientific CMOS cameras.

KURO Scientific CMOS Camera

The KURO:1200B is the only scientific CMOS camera capable of delivering CCD-like quantum efficiency and dynamic range without compromising the low read noise and high frame rates for which sCMOS sensors are known.

Princeton Instruments is pleased to introduce its KURO:1200B, the world’s first scientific CMOS camera system to implement back-illuminated sensor technology. Until now, this key technology had been leveraged almost exclusively by CCD camera systems, which despite their excellent sensitivity are unable to match CMOS frame rates. Front-illuminated CMOS cameras, meanwhile, cannot meet the high-sensitivity requirements of today’s ultra-low-light scientific imaging and spectroscopy applications. The KURO:1200B camera, however, delivers both the fast frame rates and the exceptional sensitivity needed for applications such as hyperspectral imaging, astronomy, cold-atom imaging, quantum imaging, fluorescence spectroscopy, and high-speed spectroscopy, all whilst eliminating the drawbacks commonly associated with front-illuminated scientific CMOS cameras.

Thanks to its back-illuminated scientific CMOS (sCMOS) sensor architecture, the new KURO provides >95% quantum efficiency and 100% fill factor. Furthermore, this next-generation sCMOS camera significantly reduces the fixed-pattern noise seen in front-illuminated sCMOS cameras and eliminates the need for the performance-limiting microlenses they often require. The lack of microlenses lets the unique KURO detect light from the UV to the NIR without a reduction in quantum efficiency. Scientists and engineers will benefit from the KURO:1200B camera’s ultra-low-level read noise (1.3 e- rms median), high frame rates (82 fps at full 1200 x 1200 resolution), and flexible off-chip (software) binning capabilities. The 11 µm2 pixel pitch of the new detector captures 2.8x more photons than other sCMOS sensors and handles a full well of 80,000 electrons, allowing excellent dynamic range (61,500:1 or 95 dB).

Designed for operation within the Princeton Instruments LightField® software ecosystem, the KURO camera is easy to control and can be integrated quickly in myriad imaging and spectroscopy experiments. The highly regarded 64-bit LightField imaging and spectroscopy software package provides hundreds of user enhancements, includes a powerful built-in math engine to perform live data analysis, and permits direct control from third-party packages such as LabVIEW® (National Instruments) and MATLAB® (MathWorks). A full suite of input-output TTL signals is provided as well, making it easy to synchronize camera operation with external events or light sources.

“The KURO:1200B is the only scientific CMOS camera capable of delivering CCD-like quantum efficiency and dynamic range without compromising the low read noise and high frame rates for which sCMOS sensors are known,” comments Ravi Guntupalli, vice president of sales and marketing at Princeton Instruments. “Our new, back-illuminated sCMOS camera is tremendously well suited for use in non-gated, low-light-level applications with integration times of less than 10 seconds.”

Princeton Instruments designs and manufactures high-performance CCD, ICCD, EMCCD, emICCD, InGaAs, and back-illuminated sCMOS cameras; high-throughput spectrographs; complete spectroscopy systems; and optics-based solutions for the scientific research, industrial imaging, and OEM communities. We take pride in partnering with our customers to solve their most challenging problems in unique, innovative ways. Princeton Instruments is a registered ISO 9001:2008 company. For more information on all Princeton Instruments products, please visit http://www.princetoninstruments.com.

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Debby Flint-Baum
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