Types of Dust Particles
There are two main types of dust that can potentially degrade image quality: Dust particles that adhere through electric force and dust particles that adhere through intermolecular force.
- Dust particles adhering through electrostatic charges
Most of the contamination to be found on the image sensor surface is caused by dust particles as small as just one micrometre (0.001 mm) adhering to it through electrical charges. The particles themselves carry a positive static electric charge, while the image sensor is negatively charged, which makes them attract each other. The same phenomenon can be observed on the surface of LCD and CRT monitor screens.
The intermolecular force is weaker than electrostatic charges. However, it still attracts microscopic-sized dust to the image sensor with infinitesimal force. While earthing (grounding) the camera can help reduce the problem of electrostatic dust it does not reduce intermolecular attraction. If, for example, flour were drizzled into the camera, it would still adhere to the surface of earthed metal. This kind of dust is attracted by intermolecular force. Liquid also adheres to the image sensor by intermolecular force and such molecules adhere strongly due to their ability to get closer to the adhesion surface, making it harder for dust reduction systems to remove these type of contaminants completely. In such instances, wiping the optical elements in front of the image sensor with cleaning fluid may be necessary.
Read more about this topic: Dust Reduction System
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