eXcelon detector technology

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e2v (Chelmsford, UK), Princeton Instruments (Trenton, USA) and Photometrics (Tucson, USA) have jointly launched the eXcelon back illuminated Charge Coupled Device (CCD) and Electron Multiplication CCD (EMCCD) detector technology.

The eXcelon sensors provide photon detection capabilities across a wide spectrum; from 200nm to 1,100nm. They are especially beneficial to applications requiring enhanced sensitivity in the blue to near-infrared (NIR) region. In addition, the eXcelon back illuminated sensors significantly reduce problematic etaloning – the appearance of fringes due to constructive and destructive interference in the back thinned silicon when imaged in NIR region (750-1,100nm). In the past, users interested in the NIR had to resort to using front illuminated or back illuminated deep depletion CCDs. However, each have unique drawbacks – front illuminated sensors have two to three times lower sensitivity; deep depletion devices have 100 times dark current, which ultimately limits their usability. In contrast, eXcelon sensors do not increase dark current and boast ~90 per cent quantum efficiency, while countering the etaloning.

When eXcelon technology is applied to existing EMCCD devices, the result is a detector with sub-electron read noise, high sensitivity, low dark current, no or minimal etaloning and high frame rates.

The eXcelon technology will be featured in Princeton Instruments' Pixis and ProEM deep cooled cameras and is available in a variety of different formats: 1,340 x 100 and 1,340 x 400 CCD cameras for spectroscopy as well as 512 x 512 to 2,048 x 2,048 CCD cameras for imaging. The technology is also available in 512 x 512 and 1,024 x 1,024 ProEM EMCCD cameras. These cameras will target a wide variety of applications in both life and physical sciences. Examples include astronomy, Raman spectroscopy, live cell imaging, confocal imaging, Total Internal Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM), Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) imaging, solar cell inspection, as well as super resolution techniques such as STORM and PALM.

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