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High-speed Image Intensifier | SIMTRUM Photonics Store

High-speed Image Intensifier

High-speed Image Intensifier

The HiCATT is an intensified camera attachment specifically designed for use in combination with high-speed cameras. It can be used to amplify low light level images to a level up to 10000 times, thereby boosting the sensitivity of the attached high-speed camera and enabling high-speed, low light-level imaging. The HiCATT attaches to all major brand high-speed cameras by using a high-quality lens coupling.

The hybrid Image Intensifier of the HiCATT consists of 2 stages and can be delivered with a diameter of either 25 mm or 18 mm. The first stage is a Gen II or Gen III proximity-focused MCP intensifier and offers a very high, adjustable gain. The second stage is a proximity-focussed Gen1 booster, producing the extra high output brightness required for imaging at high frame rates. In its gating mode the first stage functions as a fast electro-optical shutter with effective exposure times down to the nanosecond regime. The intensifier can be operated at repetition rates of up to 2.5 MHz in burst.

A series of different intensifier control units provide functionality ranging from analog gain control to full digital control including an internal trigger generator and programmable gate trains.

With a wide range of Gen II and Gen III image intensifiers the HiCATT offers high sensitivity down to single photon level and the optimal spectral bandwidth for your application. Different models covering a range in spectral sensitivity, phosphor, spatial resolution, gain, linearity, minimum gate width and gating frequency are available.

Standard, the first stage image intensifier of the HiCATT is equipped with a single MCP. Dual MCP image intensifiers are available on request.


●  Easy coupling

    Flexible and efficient lens coupling to all major brand high-speed cameras (up to 300 000 fps)

●  High-resolution image intensifiers

    Gen II and Gen III image intensifiers offering the world’s highest resolution and sensitivity in the 

    UV, visible or near infrared

●  Small gate widths

    Gate width down to less than 3 ns (FWHM) with minimal jitter

●  High gate repetition rates Up to 300 kHz/2.5 MHz burst

●  Compact design for an easy fit to your imaging or spectroscopy setup

●  Over exposure protection user-definable anode current limitation


●  Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)

●  Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF)

●  Combustion

●  Single photon imaging

●  Bio- and Chemiluminescence Imaging

●  Plasma physics

●  Astronomy

●  Time-resolved imaging and spectroscopy


1a. Recording a blue gas flame from a Bunsen burner at high frame rates poses a challenge. The light intensity of the flame is low and to be able to see any details, especially in close-ups, very short exposure times are required.

1b. Recording made with a standard high-speed camera at 1000 fps and 1 ms exposure time. On the one hand, a long exposure time is needed to increase the sensitivity of the camera. On the other hand, a short exposure time is necessary to prevent motion blur.

1c. Recording made with the HiCATT in front of the high-speed camera at 2000 fps and 15 µs exposure time (using gating). The HiCATT makes it possible to capture flames at frame rates up to 300.000 fps. By using gating fast electro-optical shutter function of the image intensifier, the exposure time can be limited to a value at which motion blur is no longer an issue.

2. Recording sequence made with the HiCATT in combination with a high-speed camera. The recording shows a combustion cycle of a fuel injection engine at 22.000 fps.

When the HiCATT is mounted to a lens or microscope, the incoming light (a) is focused onto the entrance window of the image intensifier (b). The image intensifier converts the optical image to electrons at the photocathode, amplifies this electron image at the micro-channel plate (MCP), and re-converts the electrons into photons at the anode screen. The second image intensifier (booster, c) further amplifies the signal. At the output of the hybrid intensifier a relay objective (d) is mounted with a magnification that matches the intensifier to the high-speed camera sensor (e).

For time-resolved imaging a gate unit (f) is used together with the image intensifier to yield an electro-optical shutter. The gate unit either generates a high voltage pulse signal or follows an external TTL pulse. The pulse width is variable and follows a TTL input pulse over the range from less than 3 ns to DC at a repetition rate up to 300 kHz.


Spectral response and phosphor decay time



Phosphor  Efficiency
Decay time to 10% 
Decay time to 1%
P43 (optional)  20 photons/e-/kV 
1.5 ms
3 ms
P46 (standard)6 photons/e-/kV 
500 ns
2000 ns

Intensifier working principle


On the photocathode(1) photons get converted into electrons. These are accelerated in an electric field towards the Multi Channel Plate (MCP, 2) and hit the channel walls. Depending on the voltage across the channel, multiple electrons are generated by secondary emission. This cloud of electrons gets accelerated towards the anode screen (3), where the electrons are converted back into photons by the phosphor layer.

These photons are guided by a fiberoptic faceplate (3) to the entrance of the second stage (booster).

Again photons are converted to electrons by the photocathode (4) and accelerated to the anode screen (5) where the image appears. The relay lens (6) transfers the image from the back of the intensifier onto the mounted camera.

Model Guide

Effective area  Gen II: ø 17.5 mm, Gen III: 13.5x10 mm
Gen II: ø 24.5 mm, Gen III: 16x16 mm
Input diameter 
18 mm 
25 mm
Input window thickness  
5.5 mm
6.0 mm

Product specifications and Brochures

Product Brochure Link: 

Image Intensifier Specification
Min. gate width (FWHM) 

HiCATT G 40n: 40ns

HiCATT G 2n: < 3 ns with Gen II, 5 ns with Gen III

Max. repetition frequency HiCATT G 40n: 100 kHz

HiCATT G 2n: 300 kHz, 2.5 MHz in burst mode

First stage image intensifierProximity-focused Gen II or Gen III (filmless)

Second stage image intensifier

Proximity-focused Gen I

Input window 

S20: Quartz. S25, GaAs, GaAsP: Borosilicate glass

Sensitivity and spectral range 

See graph on Overview

Photon gain (max) 

S20: 40000, S25: 30000, GaAs: 30000, GaAsP: 50000
Equivalent Background Input S20: 0.006, S25: 0.008, GaAs: 0.024, GaAsP: 0.006 photo e-/px/s
Phosphor P46 (P20, P24, P43 on request)
Input lens mount F-mount (C-mount on request)
Output lens mount 
F-mount (C-mount on request)
Available relay lenses 
1:1, 2:1, 3:1

Typical resolution on output (lp/mm)

1:1 relay lens

2:1 relay lens

3:1 relay lens

S20: 33, S25: 31, GaAs: 28, GaAsP: 26

S20: 66, S25: 62, GaAs: 56, GaAsP: 52

S20: 99, S25: 93, GaAs: 84, GaAsP: 78


The HiCATT can be used as an ultra-fast electro-optical shutter by gating the image intensifier. This eliminates motion blur and reduces the effective exposure time, thereby significantly widening the camera’s dynamic range. To prevent loss of intrascene dynamic range when using a shorter gate the user can set a higher MCP gain. The pulse width and frequency are user defined: any pulse width from DC down to a few nanoseconds can be applied.

The table below summarizes the range of different intensifier control units available for the HiCATT.

●  The gain control models act as a power supply for the image intensifier, gate pulse trains are supplied 


●  The gate control model has its own pulse generator, giving the user direct control of the gate width and 

    gate delay.

●  The gate generator models have an enhanced version of the pulse generator with lower jitter. These 

    models allow the image intensifier to be synchronised to the exposure time of the camera by supplying 

    a trigger signal.

●  All models allow the gate frequency to be set by an external TTL signal.

Microsoft Windows control software is provided with all control unit models, except the manual model. The software provides full user control of the pulse width and delay, gating mode, and intensifier gain. The control unit is connected to the computer via USB (RS-232 is optional). For integration in third party software a full command set is available.

The enhanced pulse generator of the gate generator models has 4 independent programmable pulse outputs (one of which is used for gating) that provide precise timed TTL pulses with pulse widths down to less than 3 ns (FWHM).

The intensifier gate generator is optionally available with programmable gate patterns. A frame storage facility allows storing many different delay/width-settings and the creation of cenarios of freely definable gate sequences.

Control Units and Gating Properties

Control Unit Model  

No control unit

Intensifier gain 


Intensifier gate 


Intensifier gate 


Gain control 

Gate control 
External TTL 
External TTL
Anode current limiter 
Internal trigger generator 
Programmable gate pattern  
3 presets
Optional (IC-PG-USB)
Shutter control   
Additional TTL outputs 

Gating properties

Width range 

10 ns – 10 s 
< 3 ns – 10 s
Resulting min pulse width (increments) 

10 ns (10 ns) 
< 3 ns (10 ps)
Pulse repetition rate 

< 10 MHz 
< 16 MHz
Delay jitter (width) 

10 ns (< 250 ps RMS) 
< 35 ps (< 35 ps)
Insertion delay 

20 ns 
20 ns

Trigger input 

Programmable trigger

level, divider and bursts (m out of n triggers)

Mechanical shutter

The HiCATT can be supplied with an optional mechanical shutter for preventing damage to the image intensifier by high intensity stray light or direct laser light. It is further recommended to close the shutter between measurements to increase the lifespan of the image intensifier.

The shutter replaces the original F-mount adapter of the HiCATT. The back focal distance of the F-mount input is unchanged so any F-mount objective can be used. The shutter comes with a power supply and a remote control. A timer can be used to automatically close the shutter after a predetermined time. The remote control has an ergonomic design and a large LCD screen. The shutter can also be controlled by the software of the HiCATT or by an external TTL signal.


Shutter Specification


Repetition Rate 
DC to 5 Hz (20 Hz burst of maximal 4 s, with 1 min between bursts)
Transfer time on opening/closing 
13 ms
Minimal open time 
20 ms
Lens mount 

Shutter control via 

- Hand held remote control with push button and timer

- External TTL signal

Delay-timer specification 
1 s to 99 hrs in 1 sec increments
TTL input
 0-5 V, minimal pulse width of 20 ms


The photocathode is the entrance of the image intensifier. This is where the incoming photons are converted to electrons. The quantum efficiency of the photocathode material specifies how efficient this conversion is for each wavelength.

Second generation image intensifiers

The photocathode of a second generation image intensifier can have a quantum efficiency of up to 25%.

S25 photocathodes are only available in the 18 mm diameter image intensifiers.

Typical QE

Typical QE.jpg

Typical quantum efficiency (%) of second generation image intensifiers as a function of wavelength (nm).

Second generation high QE image 


The photocathode of a second generation high QE image intensifier can have a quantum efficiency of over 30%.

Please note that these image intensifiers are only available with a diameter of 18 mm.

Typical QE, 200 ns gate width

Typical QE_200 ns gate width.jpg

Typical quantum efficiency (%) of second generation high QE image intensifiers as a function of wavelength (nm).

Second generation fast-gated high QE image intensifiers

The photocathode of a second generation high QE image intensifier can have a quantum efficiency of over 25%.

Please note that these image intensifiers are only available with a diameter of 18 mm.

Typical QE, 3 ns gate width

Typical QE_3 ns gate width.jpg

Typical quantum efficiency (%) of second generation high QE image intensifiers as a function of wavelength (nm).

Third generation image intensifiers

The photocathode of a third generation image intensifier can have a quantum efficiency of up to 50%.

Typical QE

Third gen_Typical QE.jpg

Typical quantum efficiency (%) of third generation image intensifiers as a function of wavelength (nm).



Phosphor Decay Time

The anode screen of the image intensifier contains a layer of phosphorescent material. Upon impact of an electron, the phosphor screen will emit light. Depending on the type of phosphor, the intensity of the emitted light will decrease faster. The more efficient the phosphor, the slower its light intensity decays after excitation.

Our time-resolved cameras and camera attachments use P43 phosphor. The high luminous efficiency of this phosphor increases the light levels at the output of the image intensifier. This increases the quality of the resulting image.

Our high-speed cameras and camera attachments use P46 phosphor. This phosphor has a short decay time, so the light signal of consecutive frames doesn't get mixed up.

P47 phosphor is available on request, when even faster decay times are required.






545 nm
1.5 ms
3 ms
530 nm
500 ns
2000 ns
400 nm
100 ns
400 ns

Time-Resolved iCMOSHigh-speed Gated iCMOS CameraHigh-speed Fluorescence iCMOS Camera
540M/S1000M/SFLUO (1000 FPS)FLUO (2000 FPS)

TRiCAM_Specifications 1.jpeg

Framerate 162 fps540 fps1000 fps1000 fps - 7500 fps2000 fps - 6400 fps
Sensor Resolution1920 x 1200 pixels1696 x 1710 pixels1280 x 1024 pixels1280 x 1024 pixels1920 x 1080 pixels*
Pixel size5.86 x 5.86  µm 8 x 8 µm6.6   x 6.6 µm6.6 x 6.6 µm10 x 10 µm
Photon gain (max.)50000 lm/m^2/lx 11000 lm/m^2/lx11000 lm/m^2/lx36000 lm/m^2/lx36000 lm/m^2/lx
Gating repetition rate100 or 300Khz100khz100khz100khz100khz
Intensifier18mm intensifier Dual-stage   intensifierDual-stage intensifierSingle-stage intensifier  Single-stage intensifier
Bit Depth10 bit and 12 bit8 bit8 and 12 bit8 and 12 bit8 bit
Minimum exposure time40 ns (3 ns optional)40 ns (3 ns optional)40 ns (3 ns optional)40 ns (3 ns optional)40 ns (3 ns optional)

Time-Resolved Image IntensifierHigh-speed Image Intensifier
Model 18Model 25Model 18Model 25

Input diameter18mm25mm18mm25mm
Effective areaGen II: ø 17.5 mm, Gen III: 13.5x10 mmGen II: ø 24.5 mm, Gen III: 16x16 mmGen II: ø 17.5 mm, Gen III:   13.5x10 mmGen II: ø 24.5 mm, Gen III: 16x16 mm
Max. Repetition 100 kHz, 300 kHz or 1 MHz100 kHz, 300 kHz or 1 MHz100khz Or 300khz ,  2.5 MHz  burst mode100khz Or 300khz,  2.5 MHz burst mode
Min. gate width< 3ns - 40ns (FWHM)< 3ns - 40ns (FWHM)< 3ns - 40ns (FWHM)< 3ns - 40ns (FWHM)
Frame RateUp to 500 fpsUp to 500 fpsup to 1,000,000 fpsup to 1,000,000 fps
Photon Gain

S20 : 14800, S25:30000
GaAs: 40000, GaAsp: 20000

S20 : 14800, S25:30000
GaAs: 40000, GaAsp: 20000
S20 : 40000, S25:30000
GaAs: 30000, GaAsp: 50000
S20 : 40000, S25:30000
GaAs: 30000, GaAsp: 50000

Microscop Cameras

Camera CategoryResolutionPixel SizeFPSWavelengthNote
Microscope  TE-Cooling USB3.0 CCD Camera1.5MP to 12MP6.45um to 3.1um~30FPS380nm - 650nmIR Cut filter
Microscope  USB3.0 CCD Camera1.5MP to 12MP6.45um to 3.1um~30FPS380nm - 650nmIR Cut filter
Large Format TC-Cooling USB3.0 CMOS Camera24MP and 61MP5.94um and 3.76umup to 190FPS380nm -650nmUV extended available
TE-Cooling USB3.0 CMOS Camera10MP to 45MP4.63um to 2.31umup to 96FPS380nm - 650nmIR Cut filter
TE-Cooling USB3.0 CMOS Camera with  External Trigger0.5MP / 0.5MP6.9um / 9um20FPS380nm - 650nm
External Trigger
Microscope USB3.0 CMOS Camera0.5MP to 45MP
6.9um to 1.55umupto 520FPS380nm - 650nmIR Cut filter
Microscope USB3.0 CMOS Camera UV Enhanced1.3MP to 10MP9.7um to 4.6umupto 86FPS200nm -1100nm
Microscope USB3.0 CMOS Camera wish ISP1.5MP to 45MP
3.4um to 1.2umupto 165FPS380nm - 650nmIR Cut filter / ISP
Eyepiece USB3.0 CMOS Camera5MP2um30FPS380nm - 650nmIR Cut filter
HDMI Color CMOS Camera2MP to 8MP
60FPS380 - 1100nm

UV & NIR Enhanced CMOS Camera4.2/8MP,  2.1/4.1MP

upto 200FPS200-1100nmUV or NIR Enhance

Scientific Cameras

TypeModelWavelengthSensor   TypeResolutionPixel sizeFrame RateQE
X-RAY sCMOS Camera XF9580-1000eVBSI sCMOS2048 x 204822.5um or 13.3um 48~100% full range
XUV/VUV CameramaxCam1-300nm BSI/FSI CCD 1024 x 25526um
Refer to brochures
High Speed sCMOS CameraDhyana 2100200-1100nmFSI CMOS / Mono5220(H) x 4096(V)4.5um x 4.5um450fps@8bit63%@520nm
Dhyana 9KTDI200-1100nmBSI sCMOS TDI/Mono90725um x 5um510kHZ@8bit82%@550nm,
Cooled High Sensitivity sCMOS Camera95V2200-1100nmBSI sCMOS/Mono2048(H) x 2048(V)11μm x 11μm48fps@12bit STD95%@560nm
400BSI V2200-1100nmBSI sCMOS2048(H) x 2048(V)6.5μm x 6.5μm74fps@CL, 40fps@USB3.095%@600nm
400BSI V3200-1100nmBSI sCMOS2048(H) x 2048(V)6.5μm x 6.5μm100fps@CL, 40fps@USB3.095%@600nm
400D200-1100nmFSI   sCMOS/Mono2048(H) x 2040(V)6.5μm x 6.5μm35fps@16bit72%@595nm
400DC200-1100nmFSI   sCMOS/Color2048(H) x 2044(V)6.5μm x 6.5μm22fps@8bit, 16fps@16bit
Large Sensor sCMOS cameras6060BSI200-1100nmBSI sCMOS/Mono6144(H) x 6144(V)10μm x 10μm26.4fps@12-bit STD95%@580nm
4040BSI200-1100nm4096(H) x   4096(V)9μm x 9μm16.5fps@CL, 9.7fps@USB3.090%@550nm
6060FSI200-1100nmFSI sCMOS/Mono6144(H) x   6144(V)10μm x 10μm44fps@12-bit STD72%@550nm
4040FSI200-1100nm4096(H) x   4096(V)9μm x 9μm16.5fps@CL, 9.7fps@USB3.074%@600nm
Compact Industry sCMOS Camera401D  200-1100nmFSI sCMOS/Mono2048(H) x 2048(V)6.5μm x 6.5μm40fps@16bit, 45fps@8bit72%@595nm
401A-G200-1100nm2048(H) x 2048(V)11μm x 11μm
401A-U200-1100nm2048(H) x 2048(V)11μm x 11μm
201D200-1100nm2048(H) x 1152(V)6.5μm x 6.5μm70fps@16bit, 80fps@8bit72%@595nm

Short-wave, Mid-wave, Long-wave Infrared Cameras

ProductSpectral RangeRsolutionCoolingFeature
SWIR Camera400-1700nm1.3MP, 0.3MPuncooled 
MIR CameraMid Infrared Detector3.7um to 4.8um0.08MP, 0.3MP,1.5MPCooled
Mid Infrared Camera3.7um to 4.8um0.08MP, 0.3MP,1.5MPCooled
Duel Band Detector3.7 to 4.8um|7.7 to 9.5um320*256px Cooled
LWIR CameraCooled LWIR Detector7.7um to 9.4um0.08MP, 0.3MPCooled
Cooled LWIR Camera7.7um to 9.4um0.3MPCooled
LWIR Thermography Camera 8 to 14um0.08MP, 0.3MP,1.5MPUncooledBroad Temperature Range
Thermography Camera for Skin Screening8 to 14um320*256px UncooledBody Temperature
Thermal Imaging Cameras for Phone8 to 14um256*192pxUncooledFor Smart Phone
Compact Thermal Imaging Camera8 to 14um0.08MP, 0.3MPUncooledFor CCTV , Drone

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Compare Model Drawings & Specs Availability Reference Price
High-speed Image Intensifier, 18mm input diameter, input window thickness 5.5mm
4-6 Weeks Request for quote
High-speed Image Intensifier, 25mm input diameter, input window thickness 6mm
4-6 Weeks Request for quote

HiCATT-25 - Parameter

HiCATT-18 - Parameter

HiCATT-25 - Download

HiCATT-18 - Download


Compare Model Drawings & Specs Availability Reference Price