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Proceedings Paper

Photon counting with an EMCCD
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Paper Abstract

In order to make faint flux imaging efficient with an EMCCD, the Clock Induced Charges (CIC) must be reduced to a minimum. Some techniques were proposed to reduce the CIC but until now, neither commercially available CCD controller nor commercial cameras were able to implement them and get satisfying results. CCCP, the CCD Controller for Counting Photons, has been designed with the aim of reducing the CIC generated when an EMCCD is read out. It is optimized for driving EMCCDs at high speed (≥ 10MHz), but may be used also for driving conventional CCDs (or the conventional output of an EMCCD) at high, moderate, or low speed. This new controller provides an arbitrary clock generator, yielding a timing resolution of ~20 ps and a voltage resolution of ~2mV of the overlap of the clocks used to drive the EMCCD. The frequency components of the clocks can be precisely controlled, and the inter-clock capacitance effect of the CCD can be nulled to avoid overshoots and undershoots. Using this controller, CIC levels as low as 0.001 - 0.002 ¯e per pixel per frame were measured on a 512×512 CCD97 operating in inverted mode, at an EM gain of ~2000. This is 5 to 10 times less than what is usually seen in commercial EMCCD cameras using the same EMCCD chip.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 January 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7536, Sensors, Cameras, and Systems for Industrial/Scientific Applications XI, 753606 (25 January 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.840047
Show Author Affiliations
Olivier Daigle, Photon etc. (Canada)
Univ. de Montréal (Canada)
Sébastien Blais-Ouellette, Photon etc. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7536:
Sensors, Cameras, and Systems for Industrial/Scientific Applications XI
Erik Bodegom; Valérie Nguyen, Editor(s)

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