CCD Glossary

CCD Glossary

- B -

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


Acquisition mode grouping adjacent pixels during readout. The larger resulting pixels collect more light per unit and their lesser number allows higher acquisition speeds.

- C -


CCD Controller for Counting Photons, the patented technology that allows an EMCCD to operate faster and more reliably for low light applications


Charge-coupled device based on a silicon semiconductor to convert photons in measurable electric signal


Clock-induced charges, the main noise source in EMCCD cameras in photon counting

Crop mode

Acquisition mode where exposure is restricted to a smaller region of interest and the rest of the detector shielded to be used as a storage area. This allows minimal line transfers after exposure instead of complete frame transfer and results in very fast acquisition rates.


Charge transfer efficiency, the fraction of electrons displaced between adjacent pixels during the read-out process

- D -

Dark current

A noise source in the form of current resulting of the thermal agitation of atoms that make up the detector

- E -

EM gain

Electron-multiplying gain, an amplification parameter used in EMCCDs to obtain less than 1 ē of effective read-out noise


Electron-multiplying CCD, a CCD designed with an extra register for photoelectron amplification by an avalanche effect


Excess noise factor, a consequence of the stochastic nature of the gain in both EMCCDs and ICCDs that decreases SNR

- F -

Fast kinetic mode

Acquisition mode where exposures are conducted consecutively several times with minimal line transfer before readout. This enables bursts of images with short exposure times and low latency between successive exposures.

- I -


Intensified charge-coupled device


Inverted mode operation, a method of driving the EMCCD detector that minimizes dark current at the expense of increased clock-induced charges

- L -

Linear mode

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Processing mode where EMCCD camera images are generated linearly in response to incoming light
Low fringing" class="term">

Low fringing

EMCCD detector optimized for a wide range of visible imaging spanning from near-ultraviolet into near-infrared


Lines per second

- M -


EMCCD detector optimized for visible imaging with a higher sensitivity to blue and red light

- M -


Multiple region of interest

- N -


Non-inverted mode operation, a method of driving the EMCCD detector that minimizes CIC at the expense of increased dark current

- P -


Electron generated in a detector pixel as a result of an incoming photon


Processing mode where the ENF of the EMCCD camera is eliminated by non-linear image generation

- Q -


Quantum efficiency, the fraction of incoming photons that are successfully converted into photoelectrons

- R -


Region of Interest

- S -


Software development kit

Shot noise

Noise resulting from the Poisson distribution of the generation process of particles such as photons and electrons


Signal-to-noise ratio

- T -


Time Delay Integration, acquisition mode to capture images of moving objects at very low light levels

Thermal noise

Noise resulting from the shot noise of the dark current

- U -


Ultra Violet