Photon counting CMOS chip developed at IFAE for the ERICA project
September 19, 2016
The project ERICA (Energy Resolving Line Camera) is aimed at developing a new x-ray camera for industrial applications with energy resolution. The project includes the development of a new photon counting CMOS specifically designed for this purpose.
The design and production of this pixel chip has just been successfully completed. The packaging and mounting process of the ERICA sensor were done in situ by the IFAE team.
The chip is specifically designed for applications such as non-destructive quality control testing or security X-ray scanners in the airports.
The future plan is to put more than one ERICA sensors to form a line X-ray camera operating in synchronize with the moving belt and X-ray source to make a small X-ray inline scanner to test and evaluation.
The chip operates in photon counting mode and it is designed for semiconductor pixel detector to form a real-time imaging sensor for X-ray photons.
The range of energy for X-ray photons covered is typically used for non-destructive and quality control testing. The ERICA sensor has an array of pixels for inline scan machines, such as the security X-ray scanners in the airports, but with an extra feature that the image is formed by advanced image processing techniques.
Each pixel is dimensioned and configured in order to achieve data acquisition with zero dead time. The chip also incorporates a signal processing algorithm (patent pending) to reduce the impact of charge sharing among neighboring pixels.