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First Photon-Number-Resolving Scientific Camera

Hamamatsu Photonics has developed a scientific camera called the ORCA – Quest qCMOS  camera, having incredibly low noise of 0.27 electrons rms and a high pixel number of 9.4 megapixels. What makes this possible is a new two-dimensional CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) image sensor, designed by applying a unique design technology and fabricated using the latest manufacturing technologies.

In quantitative imaging, the photoelectric noise generated when light is converted into electrical signals is the all-important factor that determines the lower detection limit of the camera. The ORCA-Quest reduces this photoelectric noise to a level below the signals generated by photons (particles of light), which are the minimum unit of light. This makes the ORCA-Quest the world’s first camera to achieve 2D photon number resolving measurement, meaning that it accurately measures the number of photons to create an image. For example, the ORCA-Quest can observe the quantum states of ions and neutral atoms more accurately, making it a promising tool for accelerating research and development of quantum technology for quantum computers and a host of other applications.

Quantum computers make use of phenomena in which quantum particles such as ions and neutral atoms are in a state of superposition or, namely, are both 0 and 1 at the same time. By utilizing these phenomena, quantum computers are promising devices that can perform parallel processing to solve vast and complex problems that cannot otherwise be solved on a realistic time and scale.

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