Scientific imaging and spectroscopy solutions company Andor Technology (Belfast, Ireland), an Oxford Instruments company, launched its new iStar platform featuring the latest in high-speed, low-noise scientific CMOS (sCMOS) technology. Andor says it is a key addition to its iStar family, giving access to a unique combination of superfast frame rate capabilities greater than 4000 fps, high sensitivity, high dynamic range, nanosecond gating, and high-throughput fiber-optic coupling on a single, fully integrated platform with a high resolution on-head digital delay generator (DDG).
The USB 3.0 iStar sCMOS has frame rates at least 50% faster than competing CCD or interline platforms (at equivalent pixel matrix size), while offering intrinsically low noise floor. A better signal-to-noise ratio can be achieved with lower intensifier amplification gain, yielding market-leading dynamic range performance. It also features 'dual-frame' capabilities for particle image velocimetry (PIV) with optical inter-frame as low as 300 ns.
The iStar series' state-of-the-art gating interface offers true < 2 ns optical gating performance on a range of high quantum efficiency (QE) Gen 2 and Gen 3 intensifiers. Gating repetition rates up to 500 kHz and Intelligate [trade mark] multi-channel plate (MCP) gating maximize detection performance in challenging low light scenarios such as time-resolved fluorescence/photoluminescence and Echelle-based LIBS applications. The fully integrated, triple output DDG features an ultra-low insertion delay and excellent timing accuracy down to few tens of picoseconds, allowing for extremely precise synchronization of complex experiments through a comprehensive range of input/output triggering options. Andor's Solis software provides an intuitive interface to accurately synchronize gating and sCMOS parameters.
Acquisition speed and gating capabilities of the iStar sCMOS make it a good choice for fast plasma imaging, combustion studies based on planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF), transient absorption, and time-resolved luminescence.
Antoine Varagnat, Andor product manager, said, "The iStar sCMOS is the only platform on the market to offer simultaneously high acquisition rates, high sensitivity, high dynamic range, large field of view and superb timing accuracy. It extracts the very best performance from sCMOS and gated image intensifier technology for nanosecond time-resolved imaging. Also designed with ease-of-use and integration in mind, the intuitive software interface for the iStar sCMOS, comprehensive SDK functionalities and control in Micro-Manager or EPICS platforms make this a powerful, yet versatile platform for both the Academic and OEM communities."