Innovative technology in CCD imaging
Andor has always been at the forefront of quantitative scientific camera technology, and their latest series continues to push the boundaries of EMCCD imagery, with three new models, the iXon Ultra 888, the iXon Ultra 897 and the iXon3 860. The iXon design offers excellent sensitivity, especially under fast frame conditions, with the Ultra 888 versionallowing frame rates up to 3 times faster, with the data stream transferred through a plug and play, USB 3.0 interface.
Optimum vacuum technology
This ensures complete sensor protection and deep cooling, with a seven-year warranty, backed with a very low record of field failures. One great feature is that iXon EMCCD Cameras can be optimised to suit a variety of application needs, using their patented OptAcquire™ technology.
Photons or electrons
The signal can be quantitatively calibrated in units of photons or electrons, in real time or post processing.Andor’s new technology allows for automated recalibration of the linear gain scale, as well as anti-ageing protection.
Other features of the iXon series include,
- Crop mode – An innovative acquisition mode for continuous imaging with fast frame rates, which makes it suitable for super resolution microscopy. In crop mode, the number of pixel readout steps is significantly reduced, resulting in much higher frame rates.
- Minimal clock induced charge, with specialised pixel clocking parameters, giving minimised spurious noise floor.
- iCam: Unique technology that allows the iXon to work with excellent acquisition efficiency through third party live cell microscopy software.
- Spurious noise filter offers the lowest possible darkcurrent background noise, yet there are times when it is desirable to have a black background with no noise, so there are intelligent algorithms to achieve this without losing the integrity of the signal itself. The new SNF function offers a choice of advanced algorithms to try. This can be applied in either real time, or as a post processing procedure, which allows the user to preserve the raw data, which gives the option to decide if a particular algorithm has been successful in identifying and removing spurious background events within a data set.
- The use of SNF is not recommended when counting single photons.
Signal averaging in real time
The iXon series sensors incorporate recursive and frame averaging functions for improved signal to noise ratio. This can be applied in real time with minimal effect on the image display rate. Recursive averaging can improve the signal to noise ratio in the image while still maintaining the original frame rate. Recursive filtering is not recommended for dynamic events, as image smearing is possible.
Linear – The relationship between linear gain and the EM software setting has been converted into a linear one, due to a detailed analysis of the EM voltage dependence.
Real – The true EM gain is selected from the linear gain scale, so the gain you select can overcome noise and maximise the dynamic range.
Temperature compensation – EM gain is dependent upon temperature, yet the gain calibration extends to any cooling temperature. This means it is not necessary to recalibrate EM gain in multi user facilities.