Advanced CMOS technology for high-end scientific imaging applications

TVIPS introduces a new generation of TEM cameras based on a custom designed CMOS architecture: TemCam-F816, TemCam-F416 and TemCam-F216. These cameras are featuring a large fill factor, a high sensitivity and a superior resolution hence combining the advantages of classical slow scan CCD cameras with an exceptional acquisition speed. TemCam-F816, TemCam-F416 and TemCam-F216 are fulfilling the advanced requirements for applications in both materials science and life sciences.

Counting single electrons: Ultra low noise and high dynamic range

Single electron events (left) generated by 60 kV accelerated primary electrons recorded on the TemCam-F416 and its pseudo color representation (right).Latest improvements in CMOS process technology opened new possibilities for the design of highly accurate and ultra stable CMOS architectures. TVIPS uses lowest noise sensors for its cameras resulting in high dynamic range (>10,000:1) and single electron sensitivity.

Blooming immunity by design

Unlike CCDs, CMOS sensors do not show any blooming effects or smearing artifacts owing to intensive illumination or overexposure. This inherent ability renders them entirely suitable for all types of applications using high intensities such as recording diffraction patterns.

Large field of view and high resolution

Comparison of Sensor Areas. The TemCam-F816 is the first digital camera with a larger image area than standard film. With its impressive area of 128 x 128 mm² and ultra-high resolution of 64 MegaPixel the F816 surpasses the performance of photo plates.The combination of a large pixel size (15.6 µm) and advanced stitching technology leads to monolithic image sensor areas of up to 128 x 128 mm2 resulting in 64 MegaPixel.

User selectable sub areas

All TVIPS CMOS cameras use innovative readout techniques which allow addressing arbitrary subareas in 1k steps both in x- and y- direction. These special formats are beneficial for recording EELS spectra.

EEL-spectrum of human tissue on a (8k x 1k)-chip subarea on the TemCam-F816.

High speed readout and rolling shutter mode

High resolution TEM image of a gold island acquired in the rolling shutter mode (TemCam-F416, JEM-2010, LaB6). Even in the fast readout mode (5 fps) with short exposure time (200 ms) the signal-to-noise ratio is satisfactory for high resolution imaging (corresponding power spectrum on the right).10MHz+ design on up to 8 simultaneous readout channels increases overall speed to levels which have been limited to interline CCDs so far. The image sensor can be operated in the so called “Non Destructive Readout” (NDR) mode or in the “rolling shutter” (RS) mode. For low noise and high sensitivity single image acquisition, the NDR mode is used whereby the noise is reduced to a minimum similar to the typical read out noise of slow scan CCD cameras. The typical read out time of a 4k × 4k area is 1 second.
For an even faster read out a rolling shutter mode is available, enabling read-out rates of up-to 8.5fps without requiring a global shutter in the TEM.

High spatial resolution even under low dose conditions

Several applications like cryo microscopy or investigation of beam-sensitive materials require high resolution images under low dose conditions in order to prevent radiation damage of those delicate samples.
Cross grating replica with gold islands is an ideal test specimen for comparison of spatial resolution versus applied dose. Even under extreme low dose conditions the gold lines close to Nyquist frequency are clearly visible in the power spectrum.

TEM BF-image (4k x 4k) of gold islands acquired on the TemCam-F416 at a total magnification of 136kx (1.1 Å pixel size, dose of 290 e-/Ų). The corresponding power spectrum shows clearly the 2.3 Å gold lines close to fNyq.. Gold reflections at low dose: Power spectra of gold islands of sub areas at different doses – clearly showing some 2.3 Å gold lines close to Nyquist frequency.