DETECTORS

The Electron Bombardment CCD Tube developed by Hamamatsu (Hamamatsu City, Japan) allows low-light-level imaging without compromising either image quality or speed. Aiming to be an ideal high-speed low-light detector, the EB-CCD incorporates a charge-coupled-device (CCD) chip inside a vacuum tube, while avoiding the consequent lifetime reduction that would naturally result from electron bombardment. To accomplish this, Hamamatsu developed a back-thinned CCD that can be bombarded by electrons with

DETECTORS

The Electron Bombardment CCD Tube developed by Hamamatsu (Hamamatsu City, Japan) allows low-light-level imaging without compromising either image quality or speed. Aiming to be an ideal high-speed low-light detector, the EB-CCD incorporates a charge-coupled-device (CCD) chip inside a vacuum tube, while avoiding the consequent lifetime reduction that would naturally result from electron bombardment. To accomplish this, Hamamatsu developed a back-thinned CCD that can be bombarded by electrons with negligible damage, producing a low-light-level signal without loss of resolution. The CCD has a well depth of 300,000 electrons and a pixel size of 24 ¥ 24 µm. Dark current at 0C is only 300 electrons/pixel/s, and the readout noise is 50 electrons rms. The dynamic range is 60,000. With these specifications, the EB-CCD is a suitable replacement for intensified CCDs and will have a significant impact on the design of instruments for in vivo cancer diagnostics, light detection and ranging (lidar), and video microscopes for cell biology.

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