Atik Cameras Offers Windowless CMOS Sensors

By Lauren Butler on


As part of our Tailored Solutions program, Atik Cameras offers cameras based on windowless CMOS sensors which is unusual in the industry. This can be especially useful for customers who are interested in maximizing QE, particularly in the UV or near IR regions. In applications that use lasers, interference and reflections from light bouncing between the cover glass and optics in the rest of the system can be a problem in which case a non-cover glass sensor is advantageous.  In x-ray and neutron imaging it is typical for fibre optic blocks to be mounted directly on the photosensitive part of the sensor and then a scintilator to be attached on the other part of the fibre optic block. Working alongside us here at Atik, we can help you develop and implement a solution. 

Windowless Sensors and their applications

Most sensors are fitted with a glass window to protect the tiny structures etched into the silicon. This window is thin and is quite like a microscope cover slip. Some windows may have anti-reflection coatings whilst others are bare glass. In typical use, this window is very advantageous as dust particles can be cleaned away and the formation of condensation does not corrode the inner workings of the sensor. However, there are instances where it might be preferable to remove this window. For example, if the sensor is illuminated with highly coherent light, such as from a laser, then unwanted interference patterns may be formed. In most applications a small proportion of the incoming signal may be lost due to reflections. This loss can be significant, particularly if you have a very small signal in the UV or IR regions. Other applications require the positioning of a light guide, such as a fibre optic in close proximity to the surface of the sensor. Pinholes or masks can be employed to assemble the rays of light instead of a conventional lens. 

Clearly removing the sensor window is not without its drawbacks, as the sensor is more fragile and difficult to clean once its delicate structure is exposed in this way. However, there are many applications where this is a compromise worth making in order to maximize performance, and in some cases, it is the only way to achieve the final goal. 

Tailored Solutions

Interested in our tailored solutions and working with Atik? Follow this link:

Tailored Solutions: Working with Atik Cameras as a Partner