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White Phosphor Technology

Traditionally, nighttime scenes have been made visible by a phosphor screen attached to the objective lens. The purpose of this screen is to translate the image, otherwise covered in darkness, into a green one. With the help of the phosphor technology, the little amount of light available, such as moonlight, is concentrated and then intensified. As green falls exactly in the middle of our colour spectrum, it has been considered to be the most appropriate shade, allowing us to better perceive and interpret nighttime scenery. So, for optimal results green phosphor has been the material of choice so far.

The first gears manufactured were using aS-10 or S-20 photocathode, which rendered a clear image in the center of the field of view, while the edges were a bit distorted and blurred. These are called Generation 1 image intensifiers.  After that, the  microchannel plate was developed, leading to increased clarity and exceptional resolution. Thus, Generation 2 was born.


Generation 3 introduced two revolutionary technological improvements: the gallium arsenide (GaAs) photocathode and the ion barrier coating to the microchannel plate. These enhancements enable it to function at greater detection distances and improve overall performance.

The basic principle of image intensifiers is that electrons hit a phosphor screen and the energy of the impact makes the phosphor glow. The domination of the classical green could be coming to an end as the white phosphor takes over.

White Phosphor Technology – a new era for night vision


The latest scientific discovery is to use white phosphor for unprecedented high resolution and degree of detail. The WPT depicts the nighttime scenes in black and white, creating a higher contrast than the traditional night vision green hue. Instead of a green phosphor screen, it uses a white one.

Tests performed by military and law enforcement agencies on WTP devices returned significantly improved results in what concerns range of shades, shadows, depth perception, full moon similarity, and overall contrast. On top of that, studies show that black and white images undoubtedly appear more natural to the human eye. WPT specifications include resolution of 68lp/mm (or even over 74lp/mm for some devices) and Signal-to-Noise figures as high as 25.

Representing the latest development trend in night vision optics, the introduction of White Phosphor Technology sets the way for a new era in the night vision industry. ATN Corp. pioneered the technology, offering a line of  cutting edge night vision systems.

So far, the White Phosphor Technology is only available on a few select gears, such as the PVS-14 WPT, but the company plans to expand the line. An outstanding choice for professional Night Vision applications, the PVS-14 features Thin Film GaAs photocathode, Total Darkness IR System, a resolution of 64-72 lp/mm, and 50 hours of battery life. Originally designed for the U.S. military, these units are some of the most advanced optic systems in what concerns design and functionality.

Another White Phosphor gear is the ATN PS40, designed to enable nighttime operation. With no re-zeroing required, it mounts in front of a daytime scope and easily changes the system to night vision mode. The Multi-Alkali photocathode, the large 40mm eyepiece/output window, and the 60-74 lp/mm resolution make the PS40-WPT one of the most performant devices for law enforcement, hunting, and professional use.

ATN’s high-performance PS15-WPT can easily pass as one of  the most versatile goggles on the market. The integrated IR Illuminator enhances the ability of the user to read maps and operate in confined, zero light areas. A complex optical-electronic system, the PS15-WPT is a high-tech gear, featuring a F1.2 lens system of 27 mm, Multi-Alkali photocathode, a battery life of 40 hours, and a diopter adjustment of -6 to +2.

White phosphor is highly recommended in tactical situations, enabling users to acquire targets faster and easier than any  other night vision equipment so far.

The most important thing for passionate night vision hunters is to have superior image quality.  Discover how WPT can help you maximise your outdoor nighttime experiences.  Find your way in the dark!

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