Smart Readout of Nondestructive Image Sensors with Single Photon-Electron Sensitivity

Fernando Chierchie, Guillermo Fernandez Moroni*, Leandro Stefanazzi, Eduardo Paolini, Javier Tiffenberg, Juan Estrada, Gustavo Cancelo, Sho Uemura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Image sensors with nondestructive charge readout provide single-photon or single-electron sensitivity, but at the cost of long readout times. We present a smart readout technique to allow the use of these sensors in visible light and other applications that require faster readout times. The method optimizes the readout noise and time by changing the number of times pixels are read out either statically, by defining an arbitrary number of regions of interest in the array, or dynamically, depending on the charge or energy of interest in the pixel. This technique is tested in a Skipper CCD showing that it is possible to obtain deep subelectron noise, and therefore, high resolution of quantized charge, while dynamically changing the readout noise of the sensor. These faster, low noise readout techniques show that the skipper CCD is a competitive technology even where other technologies such as electron multiplier charge coupled devices, silicon photo multipliers, etc. are currently used. This technique could allow skipper CCDs to benefit new astronomical instruments, quantum imaging, exoplanet search and study, and quantum metrology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number241101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Smart Readout of Nondestructive Image Sensors with Single Photon-Electron Sensitivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this