The darkest EMCCD ever

Olivier Daigle, Pierre-Olivier Quirion, Simon Lessard, Andrew D. Holland, David A. Dorn
2010 High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy IV  
EMCCDs are devices capable of sub-electron read-out noise at high pixel rate, together with a high quantum efficiency (QE). However, they are plagued by an excess noise factor (ENF) which has the same effect on photometric measurement as if the QE would be halved. In order to get rid of the ENF, the photon counting (PC) operation is mandatory, with the drawback of counting only one photon per pixel per frame. The high frame rate capability of the EMCCDs comes to the rescue, at the price of
more » ... t the price of increased clock induced charges (CIC), which dominates the noise budget of the EMCCD. The CIC can be greatly reduced with an appropriate clocking, which renders the PC operation of the EMCCD very efficient for faint flux photometry or spectroscopy, adaptive optics, ultrafast imaging and Lucky Imaging. This clocking is achievable with a new EMCCD controller: CCCP, the CCD Controller for Counting Photons. This new controller, which is now commercialized by Nüvü camēras inc., was integrated into an EMCCD camera and tested at the observatoire du mont-Mégantic. The results are presented in this paper.
doi:10.1117/12.856405 fatcat:kyqxurc5brfjfnrphueahcsjbu