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60-dB-dynamic-range short-pulse measurement from an 8-bit CMOS camera

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We have developed a simple detection scheme that uses an 8-bit CMOS camera and spans over 60-dB dynamic range. By use of noise reduction techniques, the 8-bit CMOS camera yields a 40-dB dynamic-range signal, which is further increased by 20 dB by making a replica of the signal beam on another part of the detector chip. We have experimentally validated this scheme in a scanning and a single-shot autocorrelator.

©2007 Optical Society of America

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. (a). Noise measurement from two independent 250 × 250 pixel areas of the CMOS chip (, where the second area plot has been offset) shows the possibility to increase the S/N ratio of the camera using an online background reference from a non-illuminated part of the chip. (b) Measurement of the noise dependence from the area size (the 1000 frames statistics): for single signal area (purple) and for signal area after a background subtraction of the 250 × 250 pixel reference area (green). Red line shows the theoretical limit in the case of purely random pixel-to- pixel noise.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Experimental setup for the (a) scanning autocorrelator and (b) single-shot autocorrelator: CL - cylindrical lens, BS - beam splitter, M - mirror, BBO - nonlinear crystal, I - iris, W - wedge, L - lens, F - filters (ND, BG39).
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. (a). Using a 1° uncoated wedge a signal replica with an intensity decrease of a factor of 0.0018 is created. (b) CMOS camera image (of the single-shot autocorrelator) showing the three areas used for the signal retrieval.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. Autocorrelation signals of the scanning autocorrelator (averaged over 10 frames) for three different detection schemes: (green) the signal is retrieved from a single pixel, (blue) the signal is averaged over a 250 × 250 pixel area, (red) the full detection scheme is used.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. Autocorrelation signal of the single-shot autocorrelator using the full detection scheme. The sharp edge on the right shows clearly a cut off caused by the limited crystal size.

Equations (2)

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σ noise = σ pix + σ corr
S P = S S r S 0 S r 0 ,
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