Products: SOPHIA-XO Soft X-Ray Cameras

image of SOPHIA-XO Soft X-Ray Cameras

X-Ray Cameras for Soft X-ray, VUV and EUV Applications

The high-sensitivity, high-speed, thermoelectrically-cooled SOPHIA®-XO camera utilizes a back-illuminated CCD without antireflective coating for direct detection of the widest range of x-rays - between ~10 eV and 30 KeV. A rotatable ConFlat® flange with a high-vacuum seal design, as well as software-selectable gains and readout speeds, makes this camera well suited for UHV applications.

Key features of SOPHIA-XO cameras include the following:

  • 2048 x 2048, 15 µm pixel, back-illuminated, no AR sensor
  • Permanent vacuum guarantee
  • 3.2 fps at full resolution with 16 MHz readout speed
  • Excellent sensitivity in the ~10 eV to 30 keV range
  • Most advanced thermoelectric cooling design- ArcTecTM
  • Flexible, multi-port readout design
  • Compatible with EPICS control software 
  • Fully supported by 64-bit LightField software

ConFlat is a registered trademark of Agilent Technologies, Inc.
See soft x-rays and more!

Princeton Instruments' SOPHIA-XO system is engineered to deliver the highest direct-detection performance with 3.2 fps readout at full 2048 x 2048 pixel resolution, 15 um pixel for applications that involve x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray imaging, x-ray microscopy, x-ray plasma diagnostics, and EUV lithography.

With 100% fill factor, low-noise electronics, and -90°C thermoelectric cooling with air, SOPHIA-XO cameras provide hassle-free operation in research and OEM environments.

coherent x-ray diffraction

(a) Patched coherent X-ray diffraction data from a star-shaped Au sample. (b) Reconstructed mage and (c) SEM image of the Au sample. Image credit: Yu et al., "Coherent X-ray scattering beamline at port 9C of Pohang Light Source II," J. Synchrotron Rad. 21, 264-267 (2014). doi: 10.1107/S1600577513025629.

Looking for ultra-low-noice CCD cameras? Visit the SOPHIA camera page.


Sensitivity in X-ray energy range from ~ 10 eV to 30 keV:
  • Covers wide variety of applications
  • Highest sensitivity
wavelength coverage
ArcTec™ cooling technology:
  • An all-metal, hermetically sealed, vacuum design is utilized… guaranteed for life!
  • No epoxies are used, therefore no outgassing or long-term degradation caused by  epoxies used in inferior designs
  • A custom heat sink design is utilized to ensure efficient thermal dissipation from the sensor and electronics
  • Options available that cool with air only, liquid only (for vibration-sensitive environments), or a combination thereof


Ultra-stable design:
  • Ideal for extended ‘staring’ applications as well as ‘kinetic’ experiments
  • Guaranteed ultra-stable reference bias regardless of operating mode via use of reference pixels  - Bias Active Stability Engine (BASE)
  • Sensor temperature actively stabilized to ±0.1°C
  • Matched quadrant readout ports


Ultra-flexible performance:
  • Flexible, multiple readout port design for capturing even ultrafast events
  • 4-port, 2-port, or 1-port readout; custom sensor readout; and kinetic readout
  • 3.2 fps at 16 MHz
  • Complete triggering support
  • Independently optimized clocking for each combination
  • Field-replaceable internal mechanical shutter
  • ConFlat® designs


High-speed USB 3.0 data interface:
  • High data rates (up to 5 Gb/sec)
  • Easy plug-and-play interface
  • Camera operation from laptops or desktops (requires USB 3.0 port)
  • Optional fiberoptic data connection for remote operation from up to 50 m (hazardous environments, etc.)


LightField imaging and spectroscopy software:
  • A powerful, intuitive user interface provides complete control of PI cameras and spectrographs
  • A built-in math engine enables the analysis of image and spectral data in real-time
  • A universal programming interface, 64-bit PICAM, is included for easy custom programming
  • Seamless integration of hardware controls and direct data acquisition into National Instruments' LabVIEW®, MathWorks' MATLAB®, and EPICS synchrotron control software is easy
  • Patented IntelliCal automated wavelength and intensity calibration is fully supported
LightField Software


SOPHIA-XO Cameras - Model Comparison and Datasheets

Imaging Models Imaging Array Sensor Type Pixel Size Peak QE
SOPHIA-XO 2048datasheet pdf 2048 x 2048 Back-illuminated 15.0 x 15.0 µm view QE data below
SOPHIA 2048Bdatasheet pdf 2048 x 2048 Back-illuminated 15.0 x 15.0 µm view QE data on SOPHIA page
SOPHIA 2048BXdatasheet pdf 2048 x 2048 Back-illuminated with eXcelon 15.0 x 15.0 µm view QE data on SOPHIA page


SOPHIA-XO Quantum Efficiency



SOPHIA CCD Quantum Efficiency

SOPHIA CCD quantum efficiency

NOTE: Graph shows typical Quantum Efficiency (QE) data measured at - 25°C. QE decreases at normal operating temperatures. For the best results for your application, please discuss the specific parameters of your experiment with your sales representative.

SOPHIA-XO Quantum Efficiency

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.

Coherent X-Ray Diffraction
X-ray diffraction is a technique for studying the characteristics of matter such as macromolecules, crystals, powders, polymers, and fibers.

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.


Matthias Müller, Tobias Mey, Jürgen Niemeyer, and Klaus Mann
Table-top Soft X-ray Microscopy with a Laser-induced Plasma Source Based on a Pulsed Gas-jet
A table-top soft x-ray microscope based on a long-term stable and nearly debris-free laser plasma from a pulsed nitrogen gas jet target is presented. The microscope operates in the “water window” region at 2.88 nm wavelength. The emitted soft x-ray radiation is focused by an ellipsoidal condenser mirror into the object plane and a sample is imaged using a Fresnel zone plate onto a CCD camera. The spatial resolution of the microscope is about 50 nm demonstrated for a Siemens star test pattern.

Application Notes

High-Harmonic Generation (HHG) and High-Sensitivity, High-Speed Scientific Cameras for Applications in the Soft X-ray Energy Regime
X-ray experimental setups for individual labs continue to evolve and gain popularity...selecting the right application-appropriate camera will be imperative to capitalize fully on the benefits of these new setups

This note describes several examples of XPCS in which high-performance CCD systems from Princeton Instruments can be used to capture microscopic, low x-ray-flux images.


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

Tech Notes

The Art and Science of Being Cool
An Introduction to ArcTec - the Newest Generation of Scientific Camera Cooling Technologies

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


LightField Scientific Imaging & Spectroscopy Software

LightField Scientific Imaging & Spectroscopy Software

Ground breaking software to control your Princeton Instruments systems. Now with Windows 10 support. It's like nothing you have ever experienced!

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

PI-MTE In-Vacuum Cameras

PI-MTE In-Vacuum Cameras

PI's smallest, in-vacuum cameras for direct detection of soft X-rays in the energy range from <30 eV to ~20 KeV

ThermoCUBE Chiller

ThermoCUBE Chiller

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

SOPHIA Ultra-Low Noise CCD Cameras

SOPHIA Ultra-Low Noise CCD Cameras

Sophia ultra-low noise cameras for the most demanding low-light applications from astronomy to x-ray.

Princeton Instruments