|Duty Factor||Vacuum||Electronic Shutters|
AMT achieved laboratory efficiency and productivity by using low noise camera heads and modern CCDs with fast readouts. The electronics and software complement the camera characteristics and are tuned to efficient TEM image acquisition. AMT also designs lenses specifically for this application and these lenses offer outstanding resolution and sensitivity compared to alternate optical designs.
AMT uses scientific grade sensors and cameras that are customized for TEM applications. Cameras either have thermo-electrically cooling or run at ambient temperature. All have negligible thermal noise level at TEM exposure intervals. These cameras have distinctive advantages in readout speed and image quality compared to competing systems. They also have the highest reliability.
The cameras' optical interface is specially designed for AMT's high performance, finite-conjugate lenses. The high MTF and high throughput of these lenses are key reasons for the superior performance of AMT's systems. Performance is enhanced further by AMT's unique phosphor designs.
All cameras use progressive scan, interline-transfer CCDs. Initially developed for machine vision, AMT's customized versions for TEM have distinctive advantages in readout speed and image quality compared to competing full frame CCD systems derived from astronomy. They also have a far lower thermal noise coefficient, display far fewer defects and offer higher reliability.
Because of their low thermal noise coefficient, our CCDs can be cooled with low 1 stage Peltier devices, which are low power and do not require cooling water or fans. This has substantial advantages in installation and maintenance as well as reliability over deeply cooled systems that use water to stabilize temperatures.
Most cameras feature a specially designed finite-conjugate lens. They provide both high MTF and high throughput, which are key reasons for the high performance of AMT's systems. The resolution test patterns show the show the superior definition in AMT's design. Our lenses eliminate the need for fiber optical coupling in most cases. This increases the available number of CCD sensors and avoids the defects, distortion and light scattering common to fiber optics.
Of course, what really matters is the TEM image. The comparison obtained under identical conditions with conventional and AMT's custom optics shows the obvious difference in clarity.
AMT has also produced fiber optically coupled systems. In 1999 AMT was the first to supply one-piece fiber optic design in a standard product. Eliminating the traditional stacked fiber bundles produced fewer artifacts and provided superior definition.
Performance is enhanced further by AMT's unique phosphors. AMT introduced the first successful phosphor-based, high definition TEM camera system in 1992. AMT's RES™ phosphor fabrication processes produce the highest definition images at any operating condition with the least structural interference.
All cameras have near 100% temporal duty factor (0% dead time) in both live and recording modes. This is the feature most responsible for our cameras' extraordinary live sensitivity and speed. It also enables real-time frame integration for 16 bit (max) recorded images.
All electronics, cooling devices, and optics are outside the TEM vacuum and immune from cryo-contamination. Camera removal and system maintenance can be performed by users.
AMT's cameras use electronic shutters. These are not only superior to mechanical shutters, which vibrate, but they are also more stable than beam blanking systems, which cause thermal transients at the specimen