Advanced Technology to Capture Scientific Information
The advancement in science and the explosion of technology had made the availability of high-tech equipment inevitable. Equipment necessary for research such as laboratory and imaging equipment are now digitally enhanced. There is lab equipment for containing or mixing dangerous solutions, and measuring and recording equipment to help capture the outcome of experiments. There are also scientific cameras and other digital imaging devices used to observe and record a variety of different scientific procedures. As technology advances, scientific devices improve as well, giving scientists the tools they need to continue making great strides in research and discovery.
Types of Digital Imaging Equipment
Another term for a digital scientific camera is a high-performance light measuring device. There are several different types of measuring devices or individual components that are manufactured by certain companies. Andor Technology, for example, makes scientific cameras, microscopes, and spectroscopy equipment. While the specifics of some devices may be classified or proprietary, the general functions of certain pieces of equipment can be discussed.
One example of digital imaging equipment is a charge-coupled device (CCD), which is designed to move electrical charge. CCD technology is used extensively in digital, as well as medical, imaging and in other scientific areas where high-definition imaging is required. There is also an intensified charge-coupled device (ICCD) that uses CCD technology in a specific way. In this case, an image intensifier is mounted to the front of the CCD and they are connected optically. ICCD cameras are used in a wide variety of scientific applications, as well as night vision systems.
An alternative to CCD systems is scientific Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (sCMOS) technology. This technology can be used to construct integrated circuits and may be deployed to produce an Active Pixel Sensor (APS). An APS is a certain type of imaging device, which is designed as an array of pixel sensors. Each pixel is made up of a photodetector and active amplifier. CMOS APS technology is commonly found in mobile phone cameras and DSLR cameras. Scientific CMOS technology yields an improved version of the APS that can be useful in many scientific applications requiring highly sensitive digital imaging.
Another branch of scientific imaging is microscopy. Microscopy is the use of microscope equipment to observe objects that are undetectable to the naked eye. One subset of optical imaging is confocal microscopy, which works by scanning the sample with a point of light. The detector then uses the returned light to create an image of the sample. Confocal microscopy generally gives better resolution than some other optical imaging methods, and it is commonly used when it’s important to have a three-dimensional image. Confocal microscopy is used in semiconductor inspection and the life and materials sciences.
Some companies that manufacture microscopy equipment do so using a modular architecture. This means that the individual products are designed to work with many microscopy and software systems. ‘Plug-and-play’ equipment such as this can be extremely useful, as it allows scientists to build the systems they need without requiring that all elements be from the same manufacturer. Tools that are designed to work with a variety of software are also extremely useful in scientific fields.
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