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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 5 — Mar. 1, 2010
  • pp: 5199–5212

A general method for improving spatial resolution by optimization of electron multiplication in CCD imaging

Pei-Hsun Wu, Nathaniel Nelson, and Yiider Tseng  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 5, pp. 5199-5212 (2010)

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The electron-multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) camera possesses an electron multiplying function that can effectively convert the weak incident photon signal to amplified electron output, thereby greatly enhancing the contrast of the acquired images. This device has become a popular photon detector in single-cell biophysical assays to enhance subcellular images. However, the quantitative relationship between the resolution in such measurements and the electron multiplication setting in the EMCCD camera is not well-understood. We therefore developed a method to characterize the exact dependence of the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) on EM gain settings over a full range of incident light intensity. This information was further used to evaluate the EMCCD performance in subcellular particle tracking. We conclude that there are optimal EM gain settings for achieving the best SNR and the best spatial resolution in these experiments. If it is not used optimally, electron multiplication can decrease the SNR and increases spatial error.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(040.0040) Detectors : Detectors
(040.1520) Detectors : CCD, charge-coupled device
(100.0100) Image processing : Image processing
(100.2000) Image processing : Digital image processing
(100.2960) Image processing : Image analysis
(110.2970) Imaging systems : Image detection systems
(110.3000) Imaging systems : Image quality assessment
(170.1530) Medical optics and biotechnology : Cell analysis
(170.2520) Medical optics and biotechnology : Fluorescence microscopy
(330.6130) Vision, color, and visual optics : Spatial resolution

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: October 13, 2009
Revised Manuscript: January 22, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: February 6, 2010
Published: February 26, 2010

Virtual Issues
Vol. 5, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Pei-Hsun Wu, Nathaniel Nelson, and Yiider Tseng, "A general method for improving spatial resolution by optimization of electron multiplication in CCD imaging," Opt. Express 18, 5199-5212 (2010)

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