By Gerhard Holst, Head of the Science & Research Department, PCO AG
When scientific CMOS (sCMOS) image sensors debuted in 2009 at the Laser World of Photonics meeting, the imaging world knew the technology could be big. Three years later, sCMOS image sensors and their uses continue to grow.
Interest in scientific CMOS is definitely on the rise. The technology has received a great deal of attention in photonics publications, but this is only one indicator of its importance to both customers and camera manufacturers. Many authors have attempted to evaluate these new image sensors by comparing them to conventional EMCCD image sensors. The results are mixed and perhaps not entirely unbiased by the individual authors' situations.
In 2010, before the initial three developers of sCMOS technology – Fairchild Imaging, Andor Technology, and PCO AG – launched full-scale production of the new image sensor, another well-known manufacturer, Hamamatsu, independently introduced a new camera with an improved CMOS image sensor, which the company also referred to as sCMOS. This development proved quite interesting for customers seeking sensitive, fast camera systems for applications including microscopy.