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iKon CCD Cameras for Luminescence and Long Exposure 

The iKon ‘slow scan’ CCD camera series features unique thermoelectric cooling to -100°C for industry-leading low noise performance coupled with highly efficient back-illuminated photon collection across a broad spectral range, and exceptional dynamic range. The iKon series is aimed at applications such as plant imaging or in vivo luminescence experiments that require exposure durations of minutes, or even hours.

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iKon CCD Camera Applications

iKon deep-cooled CCDs are suited primarily to ‘slow’ low-light imaging applications that typically involve long exposures (from tens of seconds to minutes or even hours) combined with a relatively slow image readout, typified by usage in astronomy or weak luminescence detection. However, a special Fast Kinetics mode can be accessed to obtain bursts of data with microsecond dynamics, extending imaging flexibility. A combination of low noise floor, excellent photon response over a wide optical wavelength range and superb image uniformity guides the usage of iKon CCDs.

Plant Imaging

The deep cooled iKon CCD series are the reference detectors for challenging plant imaging studies. Typically, the iKon camera is fitted with a lens and installed in a light-tight dark-box with temperature and illumination controls. Exclusive vacuum technology and precise temperature regulation provides the deepest possible cooling to minimize dark current to the lowest levels. With this ultra-low noise floor, the many aspects of plant biology for Arabidopsis and other plant models can be studied in precise detail by monitoring changes in luciferase activity.

The iKon-M model has a 1 Megapixel sensor with 19 mm diagonal suited to C-mount lens. For those needing a wider field of view, the larger iKon-L uses a 4.2 Megapixel format with F-mount fitment that allows a 39 mm diagonal field of view. Both models feature integrated shutters to avoid signal smear during readout. Extension tubes are available to adjust the focal distance.

In Vivo Bioluminescence

During bioluminescence light is emitted directly from the specimen without the need for excitation light. With no autofluorescence or scattering this allows for a high signal to background ratio. A further benefit for in vivo studies is that photobleaching and phototoxic effects can be minimized permitting study over extended duration.

Since the signals of bioluminescence are so weak it is essential that the detector has exceptionally low dark current. This is possible with the iKon CCD cameras via exclusive vacuum technology that provides the deepest possible cooling. When coupled with optimal photon collection efficiency from large pixels with >90% QE, the iKon CCD cameras allow detection of subtle yet important information from the specimen that would be missed using less optimal CCD cameras.

The iKon-M model has a 1 Megapixel sensor with 19 mm diagonal suited to C-mount lens. For those needing a wider field of view the larger iKon-L uses a 4.2 Megapixel format with F-mount fitment that allows a 39 mm diagonal field of view. Both models feature integrated shutters to avoid signal smear during readout. Extension tubes are available to adjust the focal distance. Extended response into the NIR is also possible allowing multi-reporter systems and improved sensitivity in deeper.

Bacterial Luminescence

Bacterial bioluminescence plays a key part of bacteria cell-to-cell communication termed quorum sensing. Quorum sensing is known to allow changes in gene expression during changing population densities and in response to environmental conditions. It is also important in biofilm formation and virulence. Bacterial luminescence can also be exploited to make sensitive measurements as luciferase reporters for genetic expression, cell viability assays or as the basis of biosensors. Bacterial luminescence is even weaker than other forms meaning that the imaging detector must have the minimum noise over exposure durations of minutes. The iKon deep cooled CCD cameras are thus perfect for these studies with their class leading low noise performance allows detection of subtle changes in expression.

When moving from typical luminescence experiments towards studies at the single cell level, even higher sensitivity may be required. For such studies we recommend the iXon EMCCD series: find out why in our Single Cell Bioluminescence Solution Note.

CCD camera solutions for a range of scientific needs

Andor offer a portfolio of deep cooled, back-illuminated CCD cameras, spanning a range of field of view requirements and offering optimized response across a very broad spectral range. This also includes the iXon-XL models with a 16.8 MB sensor that delivers a massive 87 mm diagonal!

iKon-L 936

Large Field of View for Luminescence
  • 4.2 Megapixel & 13.5 µm pixel: 39 mm diagonal
  • F mount (EF option)
  • Low maintenance vacuum TE cooling to -100 °C
  • Deep-depletion NIR options
  • Fast Kinetics Mode (µs dynamics)
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iKon-M 934

Medium Field of View for Luminescence
  • 1 Megapixel & 13 µm pixel: 19 mm diagonal
  • C-mount
  • Low maintenance vacuum TE cooling to -100 °C
  • Deep-depletion NIR options
  • Fast Kinetics Mode (µs dynamics)
Specifications Request Pricing

Market-leading CCD Sensitivity

All iKon models offer a complimentary combination of technologies that ensure maximum Signal to Noise ratio under very low light signal conditions.

  • -100 °C thermoelectric cooling: Market-leading permanent vacuum cooling ensures that darkcurrent is minimized across a range of long exposure durations ranging from minutes to hours.
  • Minimized read noise: Often regarded as the true detection limit, Andor optimizes and minimizes the read noise floor for each camera shipped.
  • Back-illuminated QE & NIR enhancement: All iKon CCD sensors are back-illuminated, maximizing photon collection through highest possible QE, including deep depletion technology for enhanced NIR response (complimented by fringe-suppression technology to reduce NIR etaloning).
Quantum efficiency versus wavelength of the standard Silicon (‘BV’) and deep depletion (‘BR-DD’ and ‘BEX2-DD’) iKon-XL & iKon-L sensor options.

Quantum efficiency versus wavelength of the standard Silicon (‘BV’) and deep depletion (‘BR-DD’ and ‘BEX2-DD’) iKon-L sensor options. By extending QE response into the NIR it allows more potential for multi-parametric luminescence and fluorescence imaging for multi-reporters systems and for better compatibility with deeper tissues for in vivo studies.

Large Field of View

The iKon-M features a 19 mm diagonal which maximises field of view from the popular C-mount format. An even larger 39 mm field of view is possible from the iKon-L that uses a 4.2 Megapixel sensor and F-mount. Extension tubes sets are available to adjust the focal distance. Note the iKon-XL models are available with an impressive 87 mm field of view!

Note when a large field of view is required for faster photometric or fluorescence experiments (ranging from milliseconds to tens of seconds) we recommend checking the Sona back-illuminated sCMOS and iXon Ultra and Life 888 EMCCD models.

Low Maintenance Operation

The UltraVac™ permanent vacuum enclosure of the iKon series is particularly relevant to the needs of long exposure experiments, where cameras need not only need the lowest possible thermal noise but tight thermal control over extended durations. Furthermore, thermoelectric cooling down to -100 °C, even for very large area sensors, circumvents the need to utilize liquid nitrogen or unreliable compressed gas coolers in order to minimize camera darkcurrent.

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