In order to increase the resolution of common imaging detectors such as CCDs or CMOS either the chip size can be increased or the pixel size be reduced; both solutions have undesirable side-effects.
The first case requires a larger recording device and different imaging optics. In the second case, light sensitivity decreases with the pixel size, also reducing the signal/noise ratio.
Super-Resolution with Pixel Sub-Stepping
With so-called pixel sub-stepping, the recording area is moved on predefined paths with a defined frequency. This “dithering”, where the travel is less than the size of a pixel, causes the pixel to be exposed several times on the recording area, producing a virtual “pixel multiplier” which can significantly improve the resolution without negative side-effects.
Today, small and cost efficient piezo devices (in-plane scanners or tip/tilt mechanisms) are available to handle the task. In addition to image resolution enhancement, these devices are also fast enough to remove jitter induced by vibration from images and video.
PI is a leading manufacturer of piezo actuators, piezo linear motors and precision motion-control equipment for optics, photonics, bio-nanotechnology & semiconductor applications. PI has been developing and manufacturing standard & custom precision products with piezoceramic and electromagnetic drives for 35+ years. The company has been ISO 9001 certified since 1994 and provides innovative, high-quality solutions for OEM and research. PI is present worldwide with eight subsidiaries and total staff of 500+