Fluorescence lifetime determination is widely utilized for bioscience research and analysis. The fluorescence stimulation in conventional systems is usually done with expensive picosecond laser systems. We present a cost-effective 370 nm LED based excitation module with a pulse FWHM of 1 ns and a beam diameter of 4 mm. The functionality of the excitation module was demonstrated with the fluorescence dye ATTO 390 with a fluorescence lifetime of 5 ns. The width of 8 mm of the excitation module enables the parallel measurement of adjacent sample chambers of a well plate. Further, a silicon UV-photodiode is designated to monitor the output power of the LED. For a fast analysis of the fluorescence signal, we developed an ASIC for fluorescence histogram recording. The ASIC determines the time between excitation pulse and incoming fluorescence photon with an accuracy of about 80 ps. The ASIC blind time after the excitation pulse is configurable. The determined time is saved in bins. The width of the bins is programmable. For fluorescence light detection a silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) is used. Output of the ASIC is a histogram with the counted amount of photons at the different times after excitation. This histogram equals the fluorescence response of the dye. The fluorescence lifetime can be calculated out of this histogram.
Ch. Möller, V. Körner, Ch. Heinze, H.-G. Ortlepp, R. Matthes, W. Altermann, T. Schildbach, M. Winkler, D. Buchweitz, M. Götz, and T. Ortlepp, "Fluorescence lifetime determination by miniaturized LED ns-pulser and ASIC detector unit," Proc. SPIE 10545, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems XVII, 105450K (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2018; Published: 22 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2287747.
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