I am trying to design a camera system to image a laser beam. I know the sensor is a Sony IMX226, and I have the data sheet for this sensor. The data sheet, however, does not list a maximum energy threshold for the sensor. It does give a decibel range though.

In theory, if I could determine the minimum energy to activate a pixel, then I could also determine the maximum energy a single pixel could handle, right? The data sheet gives minimum voltages, and saturation voltages, but I am unsure if this can be translated into light energy per pixel.

Any help determining the maximum energy per pixel before it destroys the pixel would be most appreciated!

  • $\begingroup$ Killing it and 'exploding' it are two very different things. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ when in doubt place between the sensor and the source a calibrated attenuator $\endgroup$
    – hyportnex
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ We already plan to attenuate the laser. We just don't know precisely by how much we will have to do it. I'm trying to make sure the attenuator is capable of reducing the power on sensor enough $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


This isn't trivial. Silicon sensors can generally handle power well above saturation without damage. Usually, the limit is temperature. So, what you need to do is a heat transfer calculation involving the power of your laser, the area its image covers, the thickness of the silicon, the nature of the substrate, ...

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I had not thought of that. Do you by chance know if there is a "rule of thumb" for how much heat intensity a single pixel, or a senor can handle? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Benzeneenthusiast Too many variables. $\endgroup$
    – John Doty
    Commented Jun 24, 2022 at 20:07

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