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Proceedings Paper

Subelectron read noise at MHz pixel rates
Author(s): Craig D. Mackay; Robert N. Tubbs; Ray Bell; David J. Burt; Paul Jerram; Ian Moody
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Paper Abstract

A radically new CCD development by Marconi Applied Technology has enabled substantial internal gain within the CCD before the signal reaches the output amplifier. With reasonably high gain, sub-electron readout noise levels are achieved even at MHz pixel rates. This paper reports a detailed assessment of these devices, including novel methods of measuring their properties when operated at peak mean signal levels well below one electron per pixel. The devices are shown to be photon shot noise limited at essentially all light levels below saturation. Even at the lowest signal levels the charge transfer efficiency is good. The conclusion is that these new deices have radically changed the balance in the perpetual trade-off between read out noise and the speed of readout. They will force a re- evaluation of camera technologies and imaging strategies to enable the maximum benefit to be gained form these high- speed, essentially noiseless readout devices. This new LLLCCD technology, in conjunction with thinning should provide detectors which will be very close indeed to being theoretically perfect.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 May 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4306, Sensors and Camera Systems for Scientific, Industrial, and Digital Photography Applications II, (15 May 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.426988
Show Author Affiliations
Craig D. Mackay, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Robert N. Tubbs, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Ray Bell, Marconi Applied Technologies (United Kingdom)
David J. Burt, Marconi Applied Technologies (United Kingdom)
Paul Jerram, Marconi Applied Technologies (United Kingdom)
Ian Moody, Marconi Applied Technologies (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4306:
Sensors and Camera Systems for Scientific, Industrial, and Digital Photography Applications II
Nitin Sampat; Morley M. Blouke; John Canosa; John Canosa; Nitin Sampat, Editor(s)

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