Princeton Instruments
Scientific Imaging Industrial Imaging spectroscopy X-Ray soft Acton Optics
Call toll free
1.877.474.2286
in the United States
or worldwide
+1 609.587.9797
View global offices >

Imaging Cameras

ProEM-HS EMCCD cameras

The most advanced family of EMCCD cameras - ProEM-HS: 1024 BX3 and ProEM-HS: 512BX3. These cameras deliver 25 full fps at 30 MHz and 61 fps at 20 MHz respectively, all without compromising the other features researchers expect from Princeton Instruments: lifetime vacuum guarantee, fringe suppression, low noise, ultra-high frame rates, time stamping, and more. In fact, our engineers improved the all-around performance including the low noise and standard CCD operation for even lower noise operation.

  • Patented eXcelon3 technology best sensitivity (> 95%) and the best fringe suppression
  • 30 MHz (1024x1024) and 20 MHz (512x512) readout speeds
  • 700 ns vertical shift rate
  • Ultra-high speed readout mode for >3,000 fps in imaging mode with custom ROI and >20,000 sps in spectroscopy mode with 1024 (or 512) x 1 row
  • > 300,000 sps in special Spectra Kinetics mode
  • Improved noise (~5.0 e- rms @ 1MHz) in traditional CCD mode
  • Fully compatible with our award winning IsoPlane spectrographs and LightField software

 



ProEM Key Features and Benefits

Cooling

pucks
ProEM uses the most advanced vacuum and cooling technology with all-metal hermetic seals


All-metal seals: Good vacuum is key to achieving deep cooling and consequently low dark noise. Traditional epoxy based seals degrade over time and compromise vacuum performance due to out-gassing. In contrast, Princeton Instruments XP vacuum technology - proprietary all-metal sealed design - provides highest level of vacuum performance, year after year. Even the vacuum window, the only optical surface in the optical path, is brazed (fused at molecular level) to the vacuum chamber.

Permanent vacuum guarantee: ProEM comes with PI’s lifetime vacuum guarantee. It is the only such guarantee of its kind in the industry and is backed by advanced vacuum technology and thousands of cameras in the field!

Options: Options galore! Say goodbye to compromises. ProEM delivers the highest performance using air, liquid or a combination thereof.

Air only: Most convenient of all - just connect the camera and go. ProEM is cooled using a built-in, low-noise fan.

Liquid only: In vibration sensitive applications such as microscopy, any moving parts such as internal fans create vibration. Astronomy applications require that there be no air turbulence around the telescope optics which can cause de-focusing. The liquid-only cooling method eliminates heat and vibration while achieving maximum cooling performance. This is superior to temporarily turning off the fan, which compromises the cooling stability over long periods.

Air+Liquid: When your application requires all the cooling and the lowest dark noise - use cold liquid circulation and the built-in fan in the ProEM to get even better cooling and reduce dark current.

Low Noise
PINS (Princeton Instruments Noise Suppression technology): Princeton Instruments' engineers have used the next generation electronics to get the lowest possible noise levels in ProEM. In EM mode, the ProEM delivers the lowest starting read noise of any camera in the market, an advantage considering only a small amount of EM gain is required to achieve <1 e- rms effective read noise.

Return to top of page

multiplication_gain


For traditional readout port, the camera delivers 3 e- rms read noise at 100kHz, an unparalleled performance. Whether it is fast or slow application, the ProEM delivers the lowest noise combination ever achieved. Part of the technology also includes proprietary methods to reduce clock-induced charge –an unwanted noise source in EM applications requiring single photon detection. It is reduced to 0.002 e-/p/frame with careful optimization of clock timing and voltage levels on every camera.

Sensitivity
eXcelon3 back-illuminated EMCCD: At the heart of ProEM is a back-illuminated EMCCD with patented eXcelon3 sensor technology that delivers greater than 95% quantum efficiency, single photon sensitivity, and reduced fringing (etaloning). No other EMCCD sensor can claim to have such proven performance. For more information on reduced etaloning, visit the eXcelon web page.

excelon3

 

Single window vacuum design:The double-sided, anti-reflection (AR) coated vacuum window is the only optical surface between incoming photons and the highly sensitive CCD surface. A choice of AR coatings is available to get the best throughput from UV to NIR. MgF2 windows are also available for deep UV applications.

anti-reflection coatings

Wedge windows are also available for applications that are extremely sensitive to interference caused by parallel windows.

window-normal wedge-window

ProEM uses only one optical window that can be custom AR coated for high throughput


Traditional CCD or “Non-EM” mode: While the EM mode is ideal for low light, high speed imaging applications, the non-EM or traditional readout amplifier is the best for slow scan applications - for example, astronomical imaging requiring minutes to hours of exposures. By reading out slowly, ProEM delivers 3 e- rms read noise at 100 kHz even in non-EM mode.

SNR


Non-EM mode offers the best SNR for steady state applications requiring long integration times

Traditional CCD or “Non-EM” mode: While the EM mode is ideal for low-light, high-speed imaging applications, the non-EM or traditional readout amplifier is the best for slow scan applications - for example, astronomical imaging requiring minutes to hours of exposures. By reading out slowly, ProEM delivers 3 e- rms read noise at 100 kHz. even in non-EM mode.

Return to top of page

Options
Numerous options - No more compromises! ProEM delivers the highest performance using air, liquid or a combination thereof. The cameras can be cooled below -90°C (512 x 512) and -75°C (1024 x 1024) for the lowest dark noise. For traditional readout port, the camera delivers ~ 3 e- rms read noise at 100 kHz, an unparalleled performance. Whether it is fast or slow application, the ProEM delivers the lowest noise combination ever achieved.

Part of the technology also includes proprietary methods to reduce clock induced charge –an unwanted noise source in EM applications requiring single photon detection. It is reduced to 0.005 e-/p/frame with careful optimization of clock timing and voltage levels on every camera.

Speed
Video frame rates and better: ProEM provides better than 61 fps (512 x 512) and 25 fps (1024 x 1024). But, if you need hundreds of frames per second, a combination of binning and region of interest (ROI) can be used. For even higher frame rate, a “high speed” camera mode allows 3 to 5 times higher frame rate when only a partial area of the CCD is illuminated.

20mHz
ProEM-HS: 512BX3 ( ~3500 fps @ 32 x 30 ROI using High Speed Custom CCD readout Mode)
30mHz
ProEM-HS: 1024BX3 (> 2,000 fps @ 64 x 64 ROI using High Speed Custom CCD readout Mode)

It's all delivered to the host computer on the latest Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interface – a first for a scientific EMCCD camera. ProEM implements precision time stamp feature – another first!

Kinetics and Spectra-Kinetics modes: Need to capture a process with microsecond time resolution or at millions of frames per second in a burst? ProEM fully supports kinetics and Spectra-Kinetics (optional), special readout modes. By illuminating only a small portion of the sensor, a series of sub-frames or spectra can be captured and shifted in microseconds vastly increasing the time resolution.

Kinetics mode:

kinetics

Kinetics readout mode for microsecond time resolution. This mode requires that only a partial area of imaging section is illuminated.

Spectra-Kinetics mode

spectra-kinetics

Spectra-Kinetics readout mode for microsecond time resolution. Depending on the required time resolution a few rows below the FT mask should be illuminated.

Greater than 300,000 spectra/sec time resolution can be achieved in burst mode (1024 x 1) with ProEM-HS: 1024BX3 and >250,000 spectra/sec in burst mode (512 x 1) with ProEM-HS: 512BX3.

Variable Vertical transfer time: The vertical transfer time, which determines the smear and affects frame rate, can be varied from 300nsec (512 x 512), 700nsec (1024 x 1024) and up through software control.

Return to top of page

Precision

OptiCAL: EM calibration gone optical! A precision light source built into every camera is used to generate a linearized EM gain map on demand by the user. In the software you control the EM gain in absolute steps. In other words, What you see is what you get!

ProEM uses a built-in precision light source for accurate, linear calibration of EM gain.

absolute_mul_gain


BASE: Bias Active Stability Engine. Whether you are acquiring images over hours or days, BASE allows you to achieve consistent, repeatable reference bias.

Mechanical shutter: While the frame transfer architecture of ProEM EMCCDs does not require a mechanical shutter for normal operation, it is very helpful when you need to block external light to acquire reference background images. ProEM is equipped with a built-in mechanical shutter for capturing dark references and protecting the sensor from dust or debris.

Vibration-free: ProEM was designed from the beginning for ultra-sensitive setups such as microscopy and ion imaging which require no vibration introduced in the system. Simply turn off the fan permanently and use liquid cooling.

Heat-Free: Another added benefit to “liquid only” cooling - the heat is carried away from the camera without generating air turbulence around sensitive optics such as telescopes.

Time Stamp: No more guessing as to when an image is actually captured. Traditionally time stamping is done on the host computer using low precision CPU clock. In contrast, ProEM actually stamps the frame data with precise time of capture with µsec resolution. This is essential for measuring fast kinetics over time.

Peace of Mind
Permanent vacuum guarantee. Princeton Instruments covers ProEM camera’s vacuum for the life of the camera – the only such guarantee in the industry. It is supported by PI’s all-metal sealed design, years of experience in deep-cooled technology and thousands of cameras in the field.

Anti-aging: It is true that EM gain can degrade over time, especially when a large gain is used in high light conditions. ProEM uses every anti-aging measure including clock voltage optimization to reduce the effect of aging. The deep cooling allows the high voltage clocks to be operated well below the maximum ratings, while still achieving greater than 1000x EM gain.

Worldwide support: Princeton Instruments is a well-respected manufacturer of high-quality products in the scientific community. With years of application expertise and low light camera technology, our worldwide representatives are ready to provide the best solution to your demanding application.

Return to top of page

 
ProEM Datasheets