On 9 September 2011, Prof. Claude Carignan of UCT was at the company e2v in Chelmsford, UK for the kick-off meeting to start the development of large EMCCD detectors, in collaboration with the Montreal Laboratoire d’Astrophysique Expérimentale (Olivier Hernandez) and the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (Jean-Luc Gach). While the largest Frame Transfer (FT) EMCCD available at present has 1024x1024 pixels, this 24 months development project wants to develop 4096x4096 pixels chips. Since they are FT chips, the actual size will be 4096x 8192.
The pixel size is set by the actual wafer manufacturing maximum size and will be 12 μm. Since those chips are designed primarily for photon counting applications, everything will be optimized to have the lowest intrinsic read-out noise and the fastest frame rate possible. This will be accomplished by using split frame transfer architecture (image area in the center), 8 EM low-noise outputs and by using 15 MHz pixel rate or higher. With the EM amplification mode, those chips will have sub-electron read-out noise and are designed to operate at 6-8 frames/per/second. This chip, that will be called CCD282, will have a flat 90% DQE from 375nm to 660nm. A subsequent development using Deep Depletion substrates should extend this to 830nm. Hopefully, those chips should be used in 2 years time on the SALT’s RSS spectrograph and 3D Fabry-Perot imaging systems in Montreal and Marseille