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New Features for EIGER2

After conducting extensive performance testing at synchrotron beamlines around the world, we are releasing new acquisition features for all of our EIGER2 X/XE detectors. Of course, these are free of charge for all existing and future customers.


DECTRIS EIGER® X-ray detectors have been designed and developed to provide you with the best possible hybrid-photon-counting detection performance for your experiment. Today, the EIGER2 product family is already leading the field in terms of acquisition speed, image quality, reliability, and experimental versatility. These capabilities enable cutting-edge X-ray science around the world.

However, the EIGER2 can do more! Thanks to the functional design of its electronic components, it possesses image readout capabilities for advanced X-ray experiments; these capabilities are now being uncovered. Keep reading to see how your experiment can benefit from the new EIGER2 detector features! Of course, these are free of charge for all existing and future customers.

Watch our Launch Event here!
  • Faster: The upgrade offers 8-bit readouts for doubling the frame rate, a Lines-ROI mode for acquisition up to 100 kHz, and Double-Gating for capturing two time delays simultaneously.

  • Cleaner: You can now suppress unwanted higher-harmonic contributions by taking advantage of the STREAM2 dual-threshold readout interface.

  • Free: Three of these features are compatible with all EIGER2 X/XE models, and all four are released free of charge for all existing and future customers.

8-Bit Readout

Double the frame rate for faster dynamic measurements

Digital counters are one of the key building blocks that enable hybrid-photon detection. Each photon is collected and stored in the pixels’ counters, such that the digital readout is noise-free by nature. 

The new 8-bit mode accelerates the detector’s readout by reading only 8 bits, instead of the full 16 bits, of each counter. The result is an overall increase in the detector’s frame rate by a factor of close to 2; this enables faster experiments and, hence, improved time resolution.


Application: Low-dose ptychography for radiation-sensitive samples

In ptychographic imaging experiments, radiation-sensitive samples such as soft-matter specimens need to be treated particularly carefully to avoid radiation damage. To reduce the radiation dose that the samples receive, C. Kewish and coworkers from the ANSTO XFM beamline at the  Australian Synchrotron  implemented a free-run scanning-scheme ptychography setup based on an EIGER2 X 1M detector. 

Here, operating the detector in the 8-bit mode at 2,500 Hz enabled the authors to achieve scanning speeds of 140 µm2/s. Additionally, by lowering the X-ray intensity, they were able to reduce the overall sample dose further–by more than three orders of magnitude. 

As is shown in the example on the right, with the tradeoff of reducing the effective spatial resolution by approximately half, ptychographic scans can be accelerated from 1 hour to 20 seconds. This increases sample throughput and enables investigations of radiation-sensitive samples.

This work has been published in the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation - for more details see  the corresponding publication.

Double-Gating Mode

Gating experiments with simultaneous pre- and post-pump acquisition 

The electronic gating of DECTRIS detectors is a widespread approach to facilitate stroboscopic (e.g. single-bunch) experiments. The advantage is that the detector itself isolates X-ray pulses with a resolution in the nanosecond regime, without the need for a mechanical chopper system.

The new Double-Gating feature extends these electronic gating capabilities by separating consecutive gate signals into two different counters (on an alternating basis). As a result, separate images at different delay times, e.g. before and after the sample pump or reaction start, can be collected in the same exposure. The benefit of this new feature is perfect background correction to isolate the transient signal.


Application: Picosecond laser-heating dynamics of semiconductor superlattices

Laser-pump X-ray-probe experiments benefit strongly from the Double-Gating feature. In this example, H. Amenitsch and coworkers from the ELETTRA AustroSAXS beamline studied phonon transport in semiconductor superlattices upon laser excitation. 

Here, an EIGER2 X 1M detector was used to isolate radiation of the single-bunch from the bunch structure in the ELETTRA hybrid-filling mode. By employing the new Double-Gating feature, the team was able to collect diffraction patterns before and after the actual laser excitation. This allowed for seamless background subtraction (see blue trace in the figure on the left)–even if the baseline signal strongly changes, e.g. due to ring-injection (see gray trace).

Lines-ROI Mode*

Region-of-Interest readouts of up to 100 kHz 

High detector frame rates are crucial for time-resolved and scanning experiments. Although the EIGER2 product family already offers continuous acquisition frequencies of up to 4 kHz (using the newly released 8-bit mode), some experiments require even better time resolution.

This Lines-ROI feature allows you to increase the detector’s acquisition speed further by reducing the readout area to a selectable number of central pixel lines (see the illustration in the figure below).* Effectively, you can optimize the EIGER2 for each experiment. This allows you to balance between active area or frame rates up to 100 kHz, bringing unprecedented flexibility and performance to your setup.

*Available on all EIGER2 X 500K, 1M-W, and 2M-W (CdTe) detectors.


Application: In-situ powder diffraction of additive manufacturing processes

The new Lines-ROI feature brings notable advantages for time-resolved Powder Diffraction experiments. Here, B. Zhang and colleagues from BL3W1 of the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (P.R.o.C.) investigated the melting and solidification dynamics of Ti alloys during additive manufacturing. 

An EIGER2 X 1M-W detector was positioned to capture the largest possible solid angle, hence optimizing the diffraction geometry. Using the Lines-ROI feature, the team reduced the detector’s readout area by a factor of 2, yielding an effective time resolution of 9 kHz–or approximately 110 µs (8-bit mode). 

As can be seen in the acquired data (see the figure right), it was possible to capture and resolve both the melting and the solidification dynamics that occurred in under 5 ms.


Lines-ROI: Usage example

This high-speed radiography movie demonstrates the Lines-ROI readout mode on an EIGER2 X 500K. X-ray images were acquired at the maximum frame rate of (top): 4500 Hz in full-frame readout (514 lines) and (bottom): at 25,000 Hz, more than 5x faster, when reducing the readout to a Lines-ROI of 96 lines. Setup: EIGER2 X 500K, X-ray tube at 45 kVp tube voltage and 12 respectively 40 mA tube current, 8-bit readout mode. Objects: ultrasonic toothbrush and a computer fan with letters from metal foil "D E C T R I S" attached to the blades.


Dual-Threshold readout at the full bandwidth

One of the EIGER2 detectors’ most prominent features is their capability of differentiating X-rays by their energy. Setting two independent threshold energies enables simultaneous collection of two images with different spectral sensitivity.

The newly released STREAM2 data interface now enables readout of multi-channel data at the full bandwidth. This facilitates structured and efficient data transfer of images that are acquired by using separate energy thresholds, or by employing the newly released Double-Gating feature.


Application: Higher-harmonic suppression for cleaner XPD data

The presence of higher-harmonic radiation at synchrotron beamlines can create unwanted artifacts in X-ray Diffraction experiments. However, in this example, M. Hanfland and colleagues from the ESRF beamline ID15B acquired powder diffraction images of a LaB6 reference sample using an EIGER2 X 9M CdTe detector. 

Although the primary X-ray energy was set to 30 keV, a noticeable contribution of the 90-keV higher-harmonic energy gave rise to multiple diffraction rings in the low-angle regime (see the “raw” image and the gray data line in the figure left). By then using the new STREAM2 interface, the team was able to isolate the 90-keV scattering contribution and subtract it from the fundamental image. The result is cleaner diffraction data (see the “corrected” image and the blue data line in the figure left), with an increased signal-to-noise ratio that is achieved without making any further experimental adjustments.

Key Contacts

Tilman Donath
Product Manager - High Energy

Max Burian
Product Manager


As our fastest and largest X-ray detectors, EIGER2 X/XE hybrid-photon-counting detectors have been developed for the brightest 4th-generation synchrotron sources.


Featuring the highest commercially available resolution and frame rate, our EIGER2 X/XE CdTe detector family has been developed for high-energy applications at synchrotron beamlines.


As our most affordable, latest-generation synchrotron detectors, EIGER2 S hybrid-photon-counting detectors offer beamlines an unbeatable price per pixel without sacrificing resolution.

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