A comparative study of EM-CCD and CMOS cameras for particle ion trajectory imaging

Seiichi Yamamoto*, Masao Yoshino, Kohei Nakanishi, Katsunori Yogo, Kei Kamada, Akira Yoshikawa, Jun Kataoka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-resolution and real-time imaging of particle ion trajectories is essential in nuclear medicine and nuclear engineering. One potential method to achieve high-resolution real-time trajectory imaging of particle ions involves utilizing an imaging system that integrates a scintillator plate with a magnifying unit and a cooled electron multiplying charge-coupled device (EM-CCD) camera. However, acquiring an EM-CCD camera might prove challenging due to the discontinuation of CCD sensor manufacturing by vendors. As an alternative imaging approach, a low-noise, high-sensitivity camera utilizing a cooled complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor offers a promising solution for imaging particle ion trajectories. Yet, it remains uncertain whether CMOS-based cameras can perform as effectively as CCD-based cameras in capturing particle ion trajectories. To address these concerns, we conducted a comparative analysis of the imaging performance between a CMOS-based system and an EM-CCD-based system for capturing alpha particle trajectories. The results revealed that both systems could image the trajectories of alpha particle, but the spatial resolution with the CMOS-based camera exceeded that of the EM-CCD-based camera, primarily due to the smaller pixel size of the sensor. While the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the trajectory image from the CMOS-based camera initially lagged behind that from the EM-CCD-based camera, this disparity was mitigated by implementing binning techniques on the CMOS-based camera images. In conclusion, our findings suggest that a cooled CMOS camera could serve as a viable alternative for imaging particle ion trajectories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111143
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb


  • Alpha particles
  • CMOS camera
  • EM-CCD camera
  • Particle ions
  • Trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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