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Balor-X sCMOS

A revolutionary, very large field of view, fast readout sCMOS detector for indirect X-ray and neutron detection. Balor-X, utilizes a sensor that is unique to Andor and is capable of ripping along at up to 54 frames per second at full 16.9 MP resolution, whilst remarkably, maintaining an exceptionally low < 3 electrons read noise.

  • 16.9 Megapixel – very large field of view

  • Up to 54 fps, 18.5 ms readout

  • Low noise sCMOS – high dynamic range

  • 12 µm pixels – high resolution & well depth

  • Ultravac™ – maintenance-free


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Many challenges in modern X-ray and neutron detection require not only high resolution, large field of view and superb sensitivity, but also to capture high quality data faster and make the best use of valuable experimental / beam time. However, large area CCD technology is performance-limited in this regard. Even the fastest CCDs lack frame rates required for fast radiographic imaging applications including computed tomography or dynamic in situ, in operando processes.

The Balor-X sCMOS platform is the perfect instrument to address this fundamental challenge!

A revolutionary, very large field of view, fast readout sCMOS detector for indirect X-ray and neutron detection. Balor-X, utilizes a sensor that is unique to Andor and is capable of ripping along at up to 54 frames per second at full 16.9 MP resolution, whilst remarkably, maintaining an exceptionally low < 3 electrons read noise. The 12 µm pixels offer deep well depth and an on-chip multi-amplifier design means a large 16 bit dynamic range can be captured within a single image, ideal for analyzing highintensity signals and/or samples with wide range absorbances. With a 70 mm sensor diagonal, Balor-X is the largest commercially available sCMOS camera for indirect neutron & hard X-ray applications including radiographic imaging and computed tomography, scattering (SAXS, WAXS) and diffraction (X-ray crystallography) imaging. It enables the rapid acquisition of high contrast imaging of larger samples in the field of material science, structural engineering, biology, energy research, fluid dynamics, archaeology and mineralogy.

Balor-X is the perfect solution for imaging large samples, complex inner structures and dynamic behaviour at high speeds. Its fast 54 fps can be cropped to further increase frame rate. A 0.5 Megapixel image can be captured at 1,600 Hz!

49.5 x 49.2 mm sensor - Very large field of view from 16.9 Megapixel, 12 mm pixel pitch sensor

18.5 millisecond readout - Readout a 4k x 4k sensor 2,500x faster than a CCD. More data throughput less downtime!!

Up to 54 fps - Unique solution for a range of high time-resolution observing challenges, without compromising noise or FOV.

Extended Dynamic Range and > 99.7% Linearity - Superb quantitative accuracy across a wide range of magnitudes within a single image.

Readout noise ~ 2.9 e - Exceptionally low noise, even at max frame rate, suited to short exposure, low light observational challenges.

No inter-pixel “dead area” - No discontinuities in images that could contribute to loss of information. 80 000 e- well depth Deep well depth, provides high dynamic range (high contrast) images thanks to sCMOS low noise floor. Enables the acquisition of long images without oversaturation of the pixels to record even the weakest signals.

UltraVac™ - Critical for sustained vacuum integrity and to maintain unequalled cooling and QE performance, year after year.

CoaXPress as standard - 4 Lane CXP-6 interface enabling the highest frame rates over distances up to 30 m.

Rolling and Global shutter supported - Maximum exposure and readout flexibility across all applications. Global Shutter for snapshot capture of fast moving/changing events.

System Specification
Sensor Type Large area, Front-illuminated sCMOS
Array Size 4128 (W) x 4104 (H)
Pixel Size 12 x 12 mm
Image Size 49.5 mm x 49.2 mm (69.9 mm diagonal)
Readout Modes Rolling Shutter and Global Shutter
System window type AR coated UV grade fused silica window (>98% transmission)
Interface CoaXPress (4 Lane CXP-6)
I/O Fire Row1, Fire Row N, Fire All, Fire Any, Arm, Shutter, Ext Trigger
Trigger Modes Internal, External, External Start, External Exposure, Software
Advanced Performance Specifications Rolling Shutter Global Shutter
Dark Current 0.35 e-/pix/sec (@ 0°C)
0.08 e-/pix/sec (@-10°C)
0.03 e-/pix/sec (@-30°C)
0.5 e-/pix/sec (@ 0°C)
0.15 e-/pix/sec (@-10°C)
0.065 e-/pix/sec (@-30°C)
Read Noise (e-) median 2.9 e- 4.3 e
Active area pixel well depth 80 000 e-
Peak QE 61% (@ ~ 600 nm)
Photon response non-uniformity (PRNU) < 0.5% (@ half well depth)
Region of Interest User-definable, 1 pixel granularity
Linearity > 99.7%
Data Range 16-bit
f-number 0.35 (Cone Angle 110°)

Neutron & X-ray Radiography

Balor’s low noise and high dynamic range allow it to capture the finest sample details in high and low flux environments at both short and long exposure times. Furthermore, the 70 mm, 16.9 MP sensor enables it to capture a large field of view making it not only a great choice for large samples X-ray and Neutron Absorption and Phase Contrast Imaging, but also for various other X-ray microscopy applications such as full-field X-ray Diffraction and Ptychography.

Computed Tomography (CT)

The significantly faster read speeds of the Balor-X compared to traditional CCD cameras (x2500 faster) and extremely fast frame rates (54 fps at a full 16.9 MP frames) allows it to capture extensive datasets and better sample dynamic phenomena in time. Coupled with low read noise and dark current, the Balor’s high sensitivity makes it ideal for rapid tomography in low flux laboratory-based environments. The high dynamic range and pixel well depth of the Balor also enables it to capitalise on high flux environments such as beamline applications to maximise data collection rates and maximise beamline usage efficiency.

Scattering & Diffraction

Balor’s high sensitivity, low read and dark noise floor allows to resolve weak scattering signals. Its compact design and small pixels enable it to get closer to samples increasing resolution, and substantially reducing experimental setup size. Furthermore, it provides no discontinuity in the acquired image (no potential loss of critical information) for applications based on SAXS, WAXS or X-ray crystallography. The high frame rate of the Balor and the ability to crop and bin pixels allows to better address time resolved crystallography or in situ X-ray powder diffraction challenges.

In situ Dynamic X-ray & Neutron Imaging

The high frame rate of the Balor make it ideal for in situ neutron and X-ray imaging applications. Its large 16.9 MP sCMOS sensor and high sensitivity enables it to resolve even the finest compositional and microstructural changes within a material at extremely fast frame rates. The Balor’s binning modes can also be utilized to meet particularly high frame requirements in experiments. Additionally, pixel binning, can be used to increase image intensity without sacrificing acquisition rate.

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