An image intensifier is a device that intensifies low light-level images to light levels that can be seen with the human eye or can be detected by a camera. An image intensifier consists of a vacuum tube with several conversion and multiplication screens.

An incident photon will hit a light sensitive photo-cathode screen. Photons are absorbed in the photocathode and give rise to emission of electrons into the vacuum. These electrons are accelerated by an electric field to increase their energy and focus them on the multi channel plate (MCP).


Inside the MCP the electron image is multiplied, after which the electrons are accelerated towards an anode screen. The anode screen contains a layer of phosphorescent material that is covered by a thin aluminium film.

The anode contains a phosphor such that when striking the anode the energy of the electrons is converted into photons again. Because of the multiplication and increased energy of the electrons the output brightness is higher as compared to the original input light intensity.

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