News | January 11, 2023

A New Ultra-Fast Camera With Multiple Applications

An INRS team is making a breakthrough in the field of ultra-high-speed imaging.

In their laboratory at the Center for Energy Materials Telecommunications of the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS), Professor Jinyang Liang and his colleagues are developing a new ultra-fast single-pixel camera. This new device is capable of broadcasting videos at 12,000 frames per second using light modulation giving it great flexibility. Published in the journal Nature Communications , the work represents a breakthrough in single-pixel, ultra-high-speed imaging.

Powerful Technology
For several years, Professor Jinyang Liang has focused his research on laser modulation techniques in new optical imaging devices. Single-pixel imaging (SPI ) has emerged as a powerful technique using light modulation and a single-point detector instead of a two-dimensional sensor. However, most SPI systems are limited by only using the digital micromirror device (DMD ) which means that the speed at which the single pixel camera can take images is a few tens of hertz. , only.

Other methods use fast-moving physical coding masks for light modulation. Although fast, these masks also fix the resolution, which makes such systems inflexible to be adapted to different experimental settings.

Contrary to these approaches, the new camera developed by scientists at INRS combines a digital micromirror device with laser scanning for rapid and reconfigurable projection of the pattern. The system can thus operate at different spatial resolutions, as well as at different speeds and imaging modes. It is therefore capable of streaming video in real time at 100 frames per second (fps), and up to 12,000 fps offline.

Extensive applications
Another characteristic, this system is very generic and can be easily adapted to many configurations.

Scientifically, the device could have wide applications especially in the field of the non-visible spectrum, as there is no suitable camera. Very high speed imaging can capture transient events, such as the analysis of combustion phenomena, the detection of hazardous gases and the characterization of semiconductor materials.

Composed of doctoral student Patrick Kilcullen and professors Tsuneyuki Ozaki and Jinyang Liang, the team has patented the technique and is currently looking for collaborations to commercialize it.

About the item
Kilcullen, P., Ozaki, T. & Liang, J. Compressed ultrahigh-speed single-pixel imaging by swept aggregate patterns. Nat Commun 13, 7879 (2022).

This research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of Quebec, the Canadian Cancer Society, the New Frontiers in Research Fund of the Government of Canada, as well as the Fonds de Recherche du Québec–Nature et Technologies and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec–Santé.

Source: National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS)