Array detector technology is greatly enhancing results in a wide range of fields. It impacts on a range of disciplines, such as astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics. The uses to which it is put include low light imaging and extraction of low contrast images, as well as several spectroscopic applications. The technology is particularly important to those involved in the manufacture of imaging devices, optical components and systems. This work takes an in-depth look at developments in the field of scientific optical imaging. Particular emphasis is placed on a new generation of CCDs which are designed to give scientific grade performance at high speed. Several devices, in particular those with multiple parallel amplifiers, optimized pixel architecture and specialized readout, are described.