CCD Glossary

Bias frame
Acquisition without exposure in order to generate an image of electronic noise only, as opposed to total background noise which includes charge accumulation due to dark current.
CCCP
CCD Controller for Counting Photons, the patented technology that allows an EMCCD to operate faster and more reliably for low light applications
CCD
Charge-coupled device based on a silicon semiconductor to convert photons in measurable electric signal
CIC
Clock-induced charges, the main noise source in EMCCD cameras in photon counting
CTE
Charge transfer efficiency, the fraction of electrons displaced between adjacent pixels during the read-out process
Dark current
A noise source in the form of current resulting of the thermal agitation of atoms that make up the detector
EM gain
Electron-multiplying gain, an amplification parameter used in EMCCDs to obtain less than 1 ē of effective read-out noise
EMCCD
Electron-multiplying CCD, a CCD designed with an extra register for photoelectron amplification by an avalanche effect
ENF
Excess noise factor, a consequence of the stochastic nature of the gain in both EMCCDs and ICCDs that decreases SNR
ICCD
Intensified charge-coupled device
IMO
Inverted mode operation, a method of driving the EMCCD detector that minimizes dark current at the expense of increased CIC
Linear mode
Processing mode where EMCCD camera images are generated linearly in response to incoming light
Low fringing
EMCCD detector optimized for visible imaging with a higher sensitivity to blue and red light.
Midband
EMCCD detector optimized for a wide range of visible imaging spanning from near-ultraviolet into near-infrared.
NIMO
Non-inverted mode operation, a method of driving the EMCCD detector that minimizes CIC at the expense of increased dark current
Photoelectron
Electron generated in a detector pixel as a result of an incoming photon
Photon counting
Processing mode where the ENF of the EMCCD camera is eliminated by non-linear image generation
QE
Quantum efficiency, the fraction of incoming photons that are successfully converted into photoelectrons
Shot noise
Noise resulting from the Poisson distribution of the generation process of particles such as photons and electrons
SNR
Signal-to-noise ratio
Thermal noise
Noise resulting from the shot noise of the dark current