24 January 2012

Xenics launches low-noise SWIR detectors for semiconductor inspection and fault localization

Xenics nv of Leuven, Belgium - a manufacturer of infrared detectors and customized imaging solutions covering the spectrum from long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) to the visible (0.4–14µm) - has launched a range of short-wave infrared (SWIR) cameras for medical, scientific and industrial markets: the new XFPA-1.7-640-LN2 detector is geared to very demanding low-signal-level measurements in semiconductor inspection and fault localization; the Bobcat-320-Gated camera (for scientific R&D applications) delivers extremely short integration times of 80ns; the Lynx high-speed SWIR line-scan series now offers the highest resolution of up to 1 x 2048 for non-intrusive medical imaging and general SWIR applications; and the Gobi-640-GigE addresses the lower-cost LWIR thermal imaging segment.

Xenics is demonstrating its product range in booths 8216 (BiOS 2012) and 4831 (Photonics West 2012) of SPIE’s events this week in San Francisco, CA, USA (21-26 January).

The focus of Xenics' BiOS exhibit is high-speed SWIR and advanced thermal imaging for non-intrusive medical applications, targeted at bio-medical technology providers of optical coherence tomography (OCT), molecular imaging, and spectroscopy solutions.

Among the new camera launched for the medical market, the Lynx model offers what is claimed to be a unique resolution (for SWIR line-scan cameras) of up to 1 x 2048 pixels, double that of others’ 1024-pixel offerings, it is claimed. Lynx-1.7-2048 offers low noise at a high line rate of 10kHz, while Lynx-1.7-1024 and Lynx-1.7-512 offer up to 40kHz line rate, enabling the capture of fast-moving samples. Lynx is equipped with what is claimed to be the smallest available sensor (having a pixel pitch of 12.5μm) to support inspection tasks demanding ever higher accuracy in the SWIR range. A benefit for medical imaging applications in the SWIR realm, such as OCT, is that the light source has a wavelength of 1.3μm, which increases the penetration depth in human tissue. Lynx is compatible with the C-Mount standard.

Also, the Gobi-640-GigE addresses lower-cost, high-sensitivity medical imaging in a small form factor with 640 x 480 pixels. The camera includes a compact GigE interface, on-board image processing and Power over Ethernet (PoE), offering ease of integration via GigE Vision, as well as flexibility through PoE. The Gobi series is suited to life tissue imaging and breast cancer examination.

Xenics' new-product presentation at Photonics West is based on SWIR cameras and detectors for demanding low-light-level applications and gated imaging. The event sees the introduction of the XFPA-1.7-640-LN2 high-resolution liquid-nitrogen (LN2)-cooled SWIR detector, developed specifically for R&D spectroscopy and photon emission in the semiconductor failure analysis industry, high-resolution spectroscopy, and low-light-level SWIR and VisNIR imaging.

Based on source-follower detector (SFD) read-out technology, the detector offers high sensitivity at a resolution of 640 x 512 pixels (with a pixel pitch of 20μm) and reaches extreme long integration times. LN2 cooling at 77K allows what is claimed to be the lowest noise (< 20 e-) ever seen for SWIR detectors as well as low dark current (< 5 e-/sec per pixel). Optionally, the measurement realm can be extended into the visible spectrum. Easy focusing on the microscope stage is supported by the increased frame rate in windowing mode.. Based on this new XFPA detector, Xenics will introduce a complete camera system, the ‘Cougar’, in second-half 2012.

The Bobcat-320-Gated SWIR camera operates in the 0.85-1.6μm spectral band, and provides extremely short integration times (down to 80ns). It makes use of a highly sensitive uncooled indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs detector), available in a 20μm pixel-pitch. The compact camera also contains real-time on-board image processing and image correction.

A special feature is the programmable trigger-out delay between the internally generated trigger-out pulse and the start of integration, configurable from 80ns up to 2ms (in steps of 80ns). The camera captures frames at a frame rate that is tunable around 28fps. Xenics says that Bobcat-320-Gated is suited to the inspection of hot and fast-moving objects or measurement systems requiring synchronization of the camera with a pulsed laser.

“Our main message is that Xenics covers the entire wavelength span from SWIR over MWIR to LWIR with advanced thermography systems,” says founder & CEO Bob Grietens. “For medical applications such as OCT, our new high-speed SWIR cameras are the perfect fit,” he reckons. “In the scientific markets, our new Bobcat-320-Gated takes the lead by providing very short integration times.”

Tags: Xenics SWIR detector InGaAs detector

Visit: www.xenics.com

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