At the scale of single atom and even below at the subatomic level, the laws of classical mechanics are replaced by the laws of quantum mechanics. So, as we encounter those levels of resolution in camera technology, we can expect to see the influences of the quantum world in our experiments. Consequently, we can use the unexpected properties of quantum mechanics to push the boundaries of discovery in physical science.
The quantum mechanical property of entanglement – called by Einstein ‘Spooky action at a distance’ - where one photon influences the properties of a second which may be separated from it by a distance is beginning to extend the range of spectroscopic and imaging measurements.
Being able to detect entangled photons requires extremely sensitive detectors such as the iXon EMCCD range.
iXon EMCCD Camera for Quantum Imaging
The Andor iXon EMCCD camera is a powerful tool for quantum imaging. The iXon camera is an EMCCD camera or electron multiplication CCD camera that amplifies the number of electrons generated by each detected photon by several orders of magnitude. This allows the iXon EMCCD camera to detect single photons with high sensitivity. It is being used by many high-profile research groups for Quantum Imaging experiments.
EMCCD Properties Suitable for Quantum Imaging
One of the properties making the iXon camera suitable for quantum imaging is its high quantum efficiency (QE) typically greater than 90%. This means that more than 90% of the incoming photons are converted into an electrical signal. So, single-molecule fluorescence and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, can be observed.
A second property of the camera is its high temporal resolution. The iXon camera can acquire images at high frame rates, typically up to 1,000 frames per second, which enables detection of fast dynamic processes. Thus, the iXon camera is ideal for tracking single molecules over time.
Low Read Noise and Cooling for Quantum Imaging
The iXon camera also has a low read noise, which gives it a high signal-to-noise ratio and superior image quality. The camera is therefore ideal for fluorescence lifetime imaging, where the detection of weak signals is required.
The iXon Ultra is a back-illuminated EMCCD and is ideal for studying entangled photons in quantum computing, communication, and cryptography.