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Xray Cameras



Xray Cameras

Andor Technology

High Energy Detection


Benefiting from over 20 years of cutting edge development and manufacture, Andor's comprehensive range of high energy camera detection systems addresses a wide variety of imaging and spectroscopy applications from cell structure studies and medical research to material analysis.

These 'direct' or 'indirect' detection systems can be used at varying energy levels and are configured to operate across a number of sampling interfaces. For example, cameras can be placed directly into a vacuum chamber or can interface with a vacuum chamber via a mounting flange. Fiber-optic coupled configurations are also available to interface with external scintillators or imaging relays such as streak tubes.

Andor's high energy detection platforms are built to last and are engineered from the outset with ease of use in mind; every system is developed to integrate quickly and directly into the heart of the experimental setup.

Andor also offers expertise in bespoke customization to arrive at novel detection solutions to your specific experimental requirements.


Model
Active Pixels
Cooling
Pixel Size
Read Noise
Image Area
iKon-L SY
2048 x 2048
-55
13.5 x 13.5
2.9
27.6 x 27.6
iKon-M SY
1024 x 1024
-55
13 x 13
2.9
13.3 x 13.3
iKon-L SO
2048 x 2048
-100
13.5 x 13.5
2.9
27.6 x 27.6
iKon-M SO
1024 x 1024
-100
13 x 13
2.9
13.3 x 13.3
Classic SX DW
2048 x 2048
-75
13.5 x 13.5
2.5
27.6 x 27.6
iKon-L HF
2048 x 2048
-30
13.5 x 13.5
4.5
27.6 x 27.6
Classic SX DV
1024 x 255
-100
26 x 26
18
27.6 x 6.9
Newton SO
1024 x 255
-100
26 x 26
2.8
27.6 x 6.9
Newton SY
1024 x 255
-55
26 x 26
2.8
27.6 x 6.9


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Direct Detection

Andor employs the notation ‘S’ to indicate cameras that are optimal for detection of ‘soft’ lower energy photons.

With direct detection, the incident VUV to soft X-ray photon is absorbed directly within the silicon of the sensor resulting in the production of multiple electron-hole pairs. This method of detection limits the range of usage of the sensor to photon energies that silicon can absorb directly.

The design and architecture of the sensor and camera directly affect the detection range. Therefore an uncoated back-illuminated sensor will allow low energy photons to pass into the depletion zone to be absorbed, while a deep depletion device allows higher energy photons to be absorbed by the increased depth of active silicon..

Advantages
Disadvantages
Good spatial resolution Cannot detect hard X-rays > 20 keV
Single photon sensitivity Upper limit on image area (typically ≈ 25 x 25 mm)
Energy resolution CCD 'degrades' progressively by energetic X-ray
Good QE  
Linear response  
High dynamic range  

 

Indirect Detection

Andor employs the notation ‘H’ to indicate cameras that are optimal for detection of ‘hard’ higher energy photons.

Indirect detection employs a material, such as a scintillator or phosphor, to convert incident high energy X-ray or gamma photons to photons of visible wavelength, which are then detected directly by the sensor.

A fiber-optic can be used to couple the scintillator to the camera. This can bear several advantages including protection of the sensor from damage by the higher energy photons, improving the camera’s spatial resolution and, with tapers, provide the ability to extend the detection field of view beyond that defined by the sensor active area.

Advantages
Disadvantages
Higher dynamic range Lower spatial resolution
EMCCD compatible - single photon sensitivity Lower energy resolution
Large area magnifying tapers  
Wide photon energy coverage into the hard X-ray and gamma  
High frame rate  

Detector Interfaces

Andor has a comprehensive portfolio of imaging and spectroscopic camera platforms developed for use in a wide range of high energy applications. To suit these many different requirements it is often necessary to modify the camera’s interface to allow optimal integration with the sampling environment.

In this section we will explain Andor’s dedicated range of interface types and their associated identifiers: O, X, Y and F. The interface identifier is then combined with either the ‘S’ or ‘H’ identifier. Together these then fully define both the energy range and sampling environment that the camera solution is suited to.

Open faced coupled to vacuum chamber
O Interface Icon

Andor’s ’O’ interface type describes an open front design, coupling directly onto a vacuum chamber’s port, ensuring maximum detection efficiency and spatial resolution.

'Open front' cameras are designed to be coupled to the outside of a vacuum chamber. There are two types of sealing options available: knife edge and O-ring seal.

The design allows use of a removable filter holder. The system interface allows the camera to be cooled either by air or water.

Mounting flange options can be supplied for all standards, including rotatable where applicable.

Features:
  • Both spectroscopic and imaging formats available
  • Full range of sensor options available
  • O-ring and knife edge sealing options
  • Range of standard flange options with custom made available on request
  • Standard cooling options available
  • Optional filter holder with a range of filter options
  • Indirect capability - phosphor coated FO or scintillators
Stand Alone
Stand Alone

Andor’s ‘Y’ style interface is available across the iKon and Newton CCD camera platforms, and is built with a window that blocks visible wavelengths but allows higher energy photons through to the sensor. It is ideal for direct detection in the soft X-ray energy range or, with inclusion of a phosphor coated fiber-optic, indirect detection of hard X-ray photons.

The ‘Stand Alone’ design indicates that it is constructed to operate outside a vacuum chamber. The standard window used is made from Beryllium although other materials can be used, for example Aluminium.

This interface type can be combined with both direct and indirect detection. ‘Y’ cameras are available for direct detection applications with a range of sensor QE options, or for indirect detection applications with a phosphor coated fiber-optic positioned over the CCD sensor.

For optimal indirect detection, the energy range required will dictate the selection of phosphors or scintillators. The standard CCD sensor enclosure is backfilled with Argon, however other options ranging from pumpable to vacuum are available on request.

Features:
  • Both spectroscopic and imaging formats available
  • 250 µm Beryllium window as standard, with other thickness or materials available on request
  • Backfilled as standard, with other options on request
  • Indirect capability - phosphor coated FO or scintillators
Inside vacuum chamber
X Interface Icon

Andor’s ‘In Vacuum’ systems have no input window and are designed to be positioned inside a vacuum chamber, offering direct detection sensitivity from VUV to soft X-ray.

The entire camera, including casing and electronics, are completely vacuum compatible. The camera is connected to the controlling PC, outside of the chamber, via a shielded detector cable.

The cable supplies both power and data handling between the camera and the PCI card placed in the PC. This shielded link allows the camera to operate in harsh or noisy environments.

Andor’s ‘In Vacuum’ solutions may be passively cooled inside the vacuum chamber. To facilitate this, a copper block on the side of the camera head can be coupled to other objects within the vacuum chamber.

The cooling performance of the camera will depend on both the vacuum achieved in the chamber and the removal of the heat load from the camera.

The ‘X’ cameras also offer a removable filter holder with an integrated pumping channel.

Features:
  • Both spectroscopic and imaging formats available
  • Designed to be vacuum compatible to 10-5 mbar and lower
  • Optional filter holder
  • Optional cooling options of water and copper conduction
  • Indirect capability - phosphor coated FO or scintillators
  • Shielded detector cable and connections for vacuum available on request
Multi-MHz readout with fiber-optic

X Interface Icon

A number of Andor’s camera platforms can be configured with the ‘F’ type protruding fiber-optic interface, ideal for indirect detection of high energy X-ray or gamma photons that are incident on a phosphor or scintillator.

A fiber-optic interface can be coupled to either front-illuminated or backilluminate sensors. A range of phosphor and scintillator options are available, specifically selected to match your required energy range.

The fiber-optic interface is available not just for CCD detectors (e.g. the iKon platform), but also on Electron Multiplying CCD (EMCCD) sensor technology, via Andor’s highperformance iXon camera. Andor’s back-illuminated iXon offers single photon sensitivity and high Quantum Efficiency (QE) at fast frame rates and, when fiber coupled, is suited to applications such as X-ray tomography.

This is particularly relevant where photon loss through a fiber-optic taper is involved.

Features:
  • Fiber-optic bonding optimized to deliver best performance
  • Optimal phosphors / scintillators for specific energies available on request
  • Available in a 1:1 format or tapered to fit requirement
  • EMCCD options where speed and low flux are key parameters
  • Fiber bonding to front or back-illuminated sensors
  • Flanges designed to allow direct coupling to scintillator