FIP Seminar: Corporate Partner Andor "Characterization of Performance of Back-Illuminated sCMOS Cameras for Imaging Applications versus Conventional sCMOS and EMCCD Cameras"
Scientific CCDs and CMOS cameras have become the most widely used photo-detection platform for high-performance scientific quantitative imaging. Scientific CCDs are denoted by their high linearity of photo-response and high sensitivity produced by their low read noise and high quantum efficiency (QE). For extreme low-light sensitivity the electron multiplied CCD (EMCCD), revolutionized applications with ultra-low photon flux rates such as single-molecule imaging and Raman spectroscopy. However, the serial nature of the CCD readout has limited their time resolution. For higher time-resolution, the parallelized readout of sCMOS sensors produces faster frame rates. However, due to front-illumination (FI), they exhibit lower QE than most back-illuminated CCDs. Recently, back-illuminated (BI-sCMOS) sensors have been introduced that increase the QE (~95%) while maintaining higher imaging rates. However, BI-sCMOS sensors have been plagued with challenges to camera incorporation such as sensor glow, efficient cooling, and read/dark noise mitigation. Here, Andor Technology's Marana BI-sCMOS camera is characterized and Andor's solutions to these challenges are discussed. For example, the native edge glow of the sensor has been corrected enabling true full frame acquisition with exposure times of up to 20 seconds and 48 Hz frame rates. The camera performance is characterized by imaging BPAE cells labeled with MitoTracker and AlexaFluor 488.