Willard S Boyle, who won a Nobel Prize for the invention of the CCD imaging sensor used in digital cameras, has died aged 86.

Boyle, from Canada, and his colleague George E Smith jointly won the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Awarding the prize, in 2009, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said: “The CCD is the digital camera’s electronic eye. It revolutionised photography, as light could now be captured electronically instead of on film”

“Digital photography has become an irreplaceable tool in many fields of research. The CCD has provided new possibilities to visualise the previously unseen.

‘It has given us crystal clear images of distant places in our universe as well as the depth of the oceans.”

Boyle died earlier this month in his hometown of Wallace, Nova Scotia.

He reportedly had been suffering from kidney disease.