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23 February 2009 Pseudo-random single photon counting: the principle, simulation, and experimental results
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Time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) is popular in time resolved techniques due to its prominent performance such as ultra-high time resolution and ultra-high sensitivity. However, this technique is limited by low counting rate and high system cost. In this paper, we report a new time-resolved optical measurement method which aims to achieve faster data acquisition without losing the key benefits of TCSPC. The new method is based on the spread spectrum time-resolved optical measurement method combined with single photon counting. A pseudo-random bit sequence is used to modulate a continuous wave laser diode, while the pulse sequence in response to the modulated excitation is recorded by a single photon detector. The impulse response is then retrieved by periodic cross-correlation. Both simulation and experimental work have been conducted to validate our approach. Experimental results with our prototype have shown a time-resolution better than 200 picoseconds. Besides the faster data acquisition and high timeresolution, the new method also affords other benefits such as portability and low cost.
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Qiang Zhang and Nan Guang Chen "Pseudo-random single photon counting: the principle, simulation, and experimental results", Proc. SPIE 7170, Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies II, 71700L (23 February 2009);


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