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25 September 2012 Photon counting EMCCDs: new opportunities for high time resolution astrophysics
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Abstract
Electron Multiplying CCDs (EMCCDs) are used much less often than they might be because of the challenges they offer camera designers more comfortable with the design of slow-scan detector systems. However they offer an entirely new range of opportunities in astrophysical instrumentation. This paper will show some of the exciting new results obtained with these remarkable devices and talk about their potential in other areas of astrophysical application. We will then describe how they may be operated to give the very best performance at the lowest possible light levels. We will show that clock induced charge may be reduced to negligible levels and that, with care, devices may be clocked at significantly higher speeds than usually achieved. As an example of the advantages offered by these detectors we will show how a multi-detector EMCCD curvature wavefront sensor will revolutionise the sensitivity of adaptive optics instruments and been able to deliver the highest resolution images ever taken in the visible or the near infrared.
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Craig Mackay, Keith Weller, and Frank Suess "Photon counting EMCCDs: new opportunities for high time resolution astrophysics", Proc. SPIE 8453, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V, 845302 (25 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924642; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.924642
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