Hamamatsu introduces the world’s first photon-number-resolving scientific camera with incredibly low noise and 9.4 megapixels
27 May 2021
Hamamatsu Photonics has released a new scientific camera called the ORCA-Quest® qCMOSTM (part number C15550-20UP), with incredibly low noise of 0.27 electrons rms and a high pixel count of 9.4 megapixels.
In quantitative imaging, the photoelectric noise generated when light is converted into electrical signals is the all-important factor that determines the lower detection limit of the camera. The ORCA-Quest® reduces this photoelectric noise to a level below the signals generated by photons (particles of light), which are the minimum unit of light. This makes the ORCA-Quest® the world’s first camera to achieve 2D photon-number-resolving measurement, meaning that it accurately measures the number of photons to create an image.
The ORCA-Quest®’s ability to identify the number of photons invites new possibilities for a wide range of fields. For example, the ORCA-Quest® accurately observes the quantum state by quantitatively imaging the amount of light from ions and neutral atoms. This makes it a promising tool for speeding up research and development work on quantum computers and other quantum technology. In addition, due to its wide field of view capable of capturing ultra-low light level phenomena, the ORCA-Quest® is likely to find applications in the astronomical research and life science fields.
At the heart of the ORCA-Quest® camera is a new high-performance CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) 2D image sensor, designed and fabricated using our unique in-house design and manufacturing technologies. This CMOS sensor delivers excellent performance with incredibly low noise (0.27 electrons rms), high pixel count (4096 x 2304), and high resolution, yet attains high-speed readout. Its other features include a back-illuminated structure, 4.6 µm x 4.6 µm pixel size, reduced crosstalk between pixels, and suppressed variations in the electrical characteristics of each pixel.