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Characterization of an architecture for front-end pixel binning in an integrating pixel array detector

Cornell Affiliated Author(s)


D. Gadkari
K.S. Shanks
H.T. Philipp
M.W. Tate
J. Thom-Levy
Sol Gruner


Optimization of an area detector involves compromises between various parameters like frame rate, read noise, dynamic range and pixel size. We have implemented and tested a novel front-end binning design in a photon-integrating hybrid pixel array detector using the MM-PAD-2.0 pixel architecture. In this architecture, the pixels can be optionally binned in a 2 × 2 pixel configuration using a network of switches to selectively direct the output of 4 sensor pixels to a single amplifier input. Doing this allows a trade-off between frame rate and spatial resolution. Tests show that the binned pixels perform well, but with some degradation on performance as compared to an un-binned pixel. The increased parasitic input capacitance does reduce the signal collected per x-ray as well as increases the noise of the pixel. The increase in noise is, however, less than the factor of 2 increase one would observe for binning in post-processing. Spatial scans across the binned pixels show that no measured signal intensity is lost at the inner binning unit boundaries. In the high flux regime, at a 2 × 2 pixel wide beam spot (FWHM) size, binned mode responds linearly up to a photon flux of 107 x-rays/s, and performs comparably with un-binned mode up to a photon flux of 108 x-rays/s. While this study demonstrates a proof of concept for front-end binning in integrating detectors, we also identify changes to this early-stage prototype which can further improve the performance of binning pixel structures. c 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd and Sissa Medialab

Date Published


Journal of Instrumentation








Group (Lab)

Sol M. Gruner Group

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