Products: PI-MTE In-Vacuum Cameras

image of PI-MTE In-Vacuum Cameras

Smallest X-Ray Cameras for In-Vacuum Applications

Princeton Instruments, the world’s leading developer and supplier of ultra-low-noise, deep-cooled scientific CCD cameras, is proud to offer our popular PI-MTE series for in-vacuum x-ray imaging and spectroscopy applications. PI-MTE cameras are the smallest thermoelectrically cooled CCD cameras available for direct detection of soft x-rays in the energy range from <10 eV to ~20 keV and can operate, uninterrupted, for long periods of time inside a vacuum chamber.

The PI-MTE camera series provides the following key features:

  • Back-illuminated CCDs, with up to 2Kx2K resolution and without antireflective coating
  • Sensitivity in the x-ray energy range from <10 eV to ~20 KeV
  • Compact mechanical design, optimized for tight spaces inside vacuum chambers
  • High Speed USB 2.0 interface
  • Flexible readout speed from 50 KHz to 2 MHz
  • NEW Full experiment control via optional LightField software


Cameras designed for In Vacuum operation, from ground up!

PI-MTE cameras are the only cameras expressly designed and proven to work in ultra high vacuum environments. As the smallest available scientific cameras, the PI-MTE series provides all of the advanced features and functions needed to tackle demanding soft x-ray spectroscopy and imaging applications, including high energy laser research, x-ray microscopy, x-ray plasma diagnostics, coherent x-ray diffraction imaging, and EUV lithography.

Utilized daily at labs and synchrotrons, PI-MTE cameras offer researchers the renowned ultra-low-noise and wide-dynamic-range performance with which the Princeton Instruments name has become synonymous. These thermoelectrically cooled cameras can support CCDs with up to 2048 x 2048 pixels.

x-ray diffraction 3D image


Sensitivity in X-ray energy range from < 30 eV to ~20 keV:
  • Well suited for a wide variety of soft x-ray spectroscopy and imaging applications, including x-ray microscopy, x-ray plasma diagnostics, coherent x-ray diffraction imaging, EUV lithography, and x-ray holography
wavelength coverage
Proven design for in-vacuum operation:
  • Only scientific deep UV, X-Ray camera designed from ground up to operate inside vacuum environment
  • Sensor deep cooled to -55°C for lowest dark current
  • Thermal design to efficiently dissipate heat from electronics. Required for continuous operation without the need to shut down the camera periodically


High-speed, USB 2.0 interface:
  • Industry standard computer interface - no need for additional hardware
  • Optional fiberoptic interface to extend up to 500 meters between camera and the host PC
  • True 16-bit data transfer at up to 2 MHz readout speed


Flexible dual-amplifier readout design:
  • Dual, discrete amplifiers to tackle low signal or high dynamic range applications
  • Independently optimized clock settings for the best read noise and full well capacity
  • Easy control from LightField software


sensor diagram
Powerful LightField software (optional):
  • Powerful, intuitive user interface provides complete control of PI cameras
  • Built-in math engine to analyze image and spectral data in real-time
  • Universal programming interface - PICAM (64 bit) - for easy custom programming
  • Seamless integration of hardware controls and direct data acquisition into National Instruments' LabVIEW, MathWorks' MATLAB and EPICS synchrotron software

PI-MTE In-Vacuum Direct Detection X-Ray Camera model comparison and datasheets

Model Imaging Array Pixel Size Energy Range Peak Absorption
1300B datasheet pdf 1340 x 1300 20 x 20 µm ~ 1.15 eV to > 9 keV 95%
2048B datasheet pdf 2048 x 2048 13.5 x 13.5 µm ~ 1.15 eV to > 9 keV 95%


X-Ray Plasma Diagnostics
Hot and dense plasmas are of enormous interest in basic physics research because of the multitude of interesting phenomena that arise from them.

Soft X-Ray Microscopy
Soft X-ray Microscopy is used for imaging and researching the elemental composition and structure of biological samples and more.

EUV Lithography
EUV lithography is gaining popularity because it retains the look and feel of the traditional optical lithography process (i.e., utilizes the 13.5 nm wavelength) and uses the same basic design tools.

X-Ray Spectroscopy
X-ray absorption spectroscopy is an element-specific probe of the local structure of elements in a material.


P. Helfenstein, Y. Ekinci et al
Beam drift and partial probe coherence effects in EUV reflective-mode coherent diffractive imaging
Demonstration of EUV coherent diffraction imaging for applications in lithography mask and defect inspection.
M. Schneider, S. Eisebitt et al.
In situ single-shot diffractive fluence mapping for X-ray free-electron laser pulses
Simultaneous detection of signal and source monitor in a free electron laser facility, improving reliability and interpretation of measurement data.
R. Karl, M. Murnane et al.
Stroboscopic Imaging of Acoustic Waves in Nanostructures using Tabletop High Harmonics
This research demonstrates setup of a imaging setup using EUV light (30nm). Using a stroboscopic technique dynamic effects in Nanostructures are observed with a PI-MTE camera.
K. Robert, M. Murnane et al.
Stroboscopic Imaging of Acoustic Waves in Nanostructures using Tabletop High Harmonics
Table top EUV microscopy at 30nm wavelength using high harmonic generation with ultra high spatial resolution and fs time resolution.
A. Martin, N. Chapman et al
X-ray holography with a customizable reference
X-Ray holography is applied in material science and biology, in particular to imaging magnetic samples.
E. Gann, A. T. Young, B. A. Collins, H. Yan, J. Nasiatka, H. A. Padmore, H. Ade, A. Hexemer, and C. Wang
Soft x-ray scattering facility at the Advanced Light Source with real-time data processing and analysis
The Princeton Instruments PI-MTE in-vacuum x-ray camera was used in by researchers at North Carolina State and the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley CA.


X-Ray Camera Brochure
Comprehensive information on direct and indirect X-ray detection technologies from Princeton Instruments. Includes related application and technical notes.


Product Manuals
Download operation manuals for Princeton Instruments cameras, spectrometers, and accessories from our ftp site.

Tech Notes

New QE Response Curves for Soft X-ray to VUV Energy Range
A Quantitative Comparison of Different Scientific CCD Types


PIXIS-XO Soft X-Ray Cameras

PIXIS-XO Soft X-Ray Cameras

X-ray open nose (XO) cameras designed for direct detection of deep UV and X-rays in the <30 eV to 20 keV range

PIXIS-XB Direct Detection

PIXIS-XB Direct Detection

Direct detection x-ray cameras with integrated Be window for 3keV to 20keV detection range.

USB 2.0 Fiber Optic Interface Kit

USB 2.0 Fiber Optic Interface Kit

Extends distance between USB2.0 cameras and the host PC, by up to 500 meters

ThermoCUBE Chiller

ThermoCUBE Chiller

Compact liquid chiller ideal for vibration-free, thermally stable environments

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