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Intense Imaging

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2001
Image intensifiers jump from the battlefield to the lab, enabling scientific research into subjects that change quickly and provide very low levels of light.

Dr. Mark Christenson, Colin Earle and Jeff Grant

The incorporation of image intensifiers into high-performance charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras has produced intensified imaging systems that provide high sensitivity in low-light conditions and allow temporal resolution of extremely short phenomena. These imaging systems are widely used for state-of-the-art applications such as laser-induced fluorescence, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, combustion research, plasma studies, nondestructive testing and single-molecule fluorescence imaging.

An image intensifier is a vacuum device, generally 18 to 25 mm in diameter, comprising a photocathode input (multialkali or semiconductor layers on a window), an electron-multiplying microchannel plate and a phosphor screen that converts electrons into photons. In high-performance scientific cameras, fiber optics often couple the image intensifier to the CCD...

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