Excellent point-spread function

A sharp point-spread function smaller than one pixel offers a variety of benefits (Fig. 2). Closely spaced signals, even of largely differing intensity, can be accurately resolved and measured. Sharper signals reduce overlap with scattering or other background intrinsic to the experiment, thereby improving the signal-to-noise ratio. 

Due to the direct conversion of X-rays into charge pulses, PILATUS3 detectors spread virtually no intensity between pixels. The point-spread function of the PILATUS detector is thus significantly smaller than the pixel size (172 µm) and enables optimally sharp images to be created, which are free of artifacts (such as blur, intensity tails, blooming, or streaking) typical of other detectors.

Fig. 2: Superior dynamic range and point-spread function of PILATUS Hybrid Photon Counting detectors.
Details of diffraction images showing the same reflection of an insulin crystal. The images were acquired at a synchrotron beamline with identical parameters except for the detector distance, which was adjusted to achieve the same resolution at the detector edge, depending on the detector size. a) The 20-bit counter depth of the PILATUS Hybrid Photon Counting detector provides sufficient dynamic range to record 727,716 counts in the highest intensity pixel. With the excellent point-spread function, the spot is well confined to a small area. Furthermore, the sharp reflection profile of the low mosaicity crystal is accurately represented with a more than one-thousand-fold difference in intensity between neighboring pixels. b) The same reflection recorded with a CCD contains many overloaded pixels. The reflection intensity is smeared out over a large area.