pco.edge 3.1 sCMOS camera

Revolutionary sCMOS technology in a compact design


The pco.edge 3.1 is equipped with an innovative scientific CMOS sensor providing crisp images and precise measurements. It is designed for users who require high resolution, high frame rates, best 16 bit dynamic range, good quantum efficiency, selectable shutter options or optionally a colour sensor. User selectable choice of rolling or global shutter mode for exposure provides flexibility for a wide range of applications. The advantages of rolling shutter are high frame rates and low read out noise whereas global shutter provides snapshot images for fast moving objects. The camera has a small form factor of 102 x 79 x 70 mm and is air cooled. Use the pco.edge 3.1 sCMOS camera system with the latest software from PCO.

Key features:

  • sensor cooling performance: +5 °C
  • extreme low readout noise of 1.1 e- med
  • high resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixel
  • dynamic range of 27 000 : 1
  • quantum efficiency up to 60%
  • rolling shutter: 500 µs to 2 s
  • global shutter: 20 µs to 100 ms
  • global reset: 30 µs to 2 s
  • monochrome or color sensor
  • maximum frame rate 50 fps @ full resolution
  • USB 3.0 interface
  • small form factor: 102 x 79 x 70 mm

Technical Specifications:

Unit Setpointpco.edge 5.5
Resolution (hor x vert)pixel2048 x 1536
Pixel Size (hor x vert)µm6.5 x 6.5
Peak Quantum Efficiency%@ 590 nm typ.> 60
Dynamic Range A/Dbit16
Readout Noisee- medUSB<1.1
Frame Ratefps@ full frame 50
Exposure Time Range@ Rolling Shutter
@ Global Shutter
@ Global Reset
500 µs - 2 s
20 µs - 100 ms
30 µs - 2 s
Region of Interest (ROI)selectable
Optical InputNikon F-mount,
Data InterfaceUSB 3.0

Quantum Efficiency Curve:


View / Download the datasheet here.

Applications Areas:

  • PALM
  • SPIM
  • SIM
  • spinning disk confocal microscopy
  • FRET
  • FRAP
  • EOS 3D
  • adaptive optics
  • solar astronomy
  • fluorescence spectroscopy
  • bio- & chemi-luminescence
  • high content screening
  • ophthalmology
  • flow cytometry
  • biochip reading

Application Examples:

Modular Wafer Inspection with pco.edge 5.5

Silicon carbide (SiC) is a wide bandgap semiconductor, which is especially used for high-power, high-temperature and high-frequency devices due to its high energy efficiency. Despite great improvements in the material quality of SiC substrates and epitaxial wafers within the last years, critical defects like stacking faults (SFs) and basal plane dislocations (BPDs) can still lead to bipolar degradation and finally to complete failure of the device. Read more about this here.


Fluorensce Microscopy DNA Micro Arrays with pco.edge series

Microarrays are versatile tools for high throughput screening. Nevertheless they are severely limited. Either the molecules are synthesized in-situ directly on the surface or in-vitro or in-vivo produced externally and then transferred onto the surface. In-situ synthesis shows low yield in terms of purity and restricts therefore the biomolecule probe length to ~50 bp for light-synthesized DNA (Affymetrics) or ~200 bp print-synthesis (Agilent), but allows up to millions of spots per array. Ex-array synthesis on the other hand provides high-purity molecules, but the (bio)synthesis and purification of these molecules is tedious, time consuming and expansive. Also the printing process takes time. Even if one spot can be made per second 100,000 spots will take more than a day. Therefore the idea arose why to copy microarrays. Why not make DNA, RNA and protein microarrays as high quality copies of a high quality original? It worked fine for text books and images. So why not apply it for DNA? Why not build a biomolecule copying machine? A biomolecule xeroxer? Read more about this here.


Time Lapse 3D measurements with pco.edge series

Light sheet fluorescence microscopy has previously been demonstrated on a commercially available inverted fluorescence microscope frame using the method of oblique plane microscopy (OPM). In this paper, OPM is adapted to allow time-lapse 3-D imaging of 3-D biological cultures in commercially available glass-bottomed 96-well plates using a stage-scanning OPM approach (ssOPM). Read more about this here.


Particle Imaging Velocimetry Tour de France with pco.edge 5.5

Particle Image Velocimetry not only allows visualizing the airflow around the bike and rider, but also accurately measures the flow in detail. Development engineers use these results to optimize the performance of bike and clothing and help André Greipel in this way to reach new sportive achievements. Read more about this here.


EOS 3D Printing with pco.edge 5.5

Additive manufacturing is currently making a giant leap towards mass production. Technological processes have matured and industrial 3D printing has proven to be an efficient manufacturing process. EOS is launching an innovative quality monitoring solution for optical tomography. The heart of the system is the pco.edge sCMOS camera. Read more about this here.

Propeller Induced Properties with pco.edge 5.5/pco.4000

Multiple optical measurement techniques have been applied for the investigation of a propeller-wing wind tunnel model. The (half) wind tunnel model is equipped with a nine bladed propeller and its wing has active Coanda blowing over the whole span of the wing. Read more about this here.

sCMOS Ebook:

View/download the PCO ebook “Everything you always wanted to know about sCMOS cameras”.

PCO Camware Tutorial Series:


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