24 February 2010 An analog method to produce time-gated images
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Problem: Previous images of time-gated luminescence have been obtained with a cooled CCD camera by digitally summing a series of sequential images. The data acquisition rate of approximately 10 one millisecond exposure images per second was rate limiting and too slow for standard research and clinical use. An annoying undulating background was present, which could not be totally removed by subtraction of an unexposed, control image. Solution: An analog approach to this problem is to use an interline transfer, electronically shuttered camera. After each exposure, the storage line is not readout; instead, the electrons from the acquisition pixels are transferred to the storage pixels and thus are added to those previously stored. The length of the exposure is limited by the capacity of the storage pixels and the rate of generation of background (noise) electrons. This electronic concept was tested with a Point Grey Dragonfly2 640 by 480 pixel monochrome camera equipped with a Sony 1/3" progressive interline scan, electronically shuttered CCD, which since it did not have any cooling, was operated at room temperature. Pulsed excitation was from a Nichia UV LED. Results: Five and 0.5 micron uniform europium complex stained microspheres could at room temperature be imaged with time-gated excitation and acquisition times of 1 millisecond each and analog summation of 50 images. Conclusion: The analog integration solution apparently works; however, a cooled scientific grade camera with the same capacity for multiple transfers into storage pixels would be better suited for use with dimmer luminescent objects.
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Robert C. Leif, Robert C. Leif, Sean Yang, Sean Yang, } "An analog method to produce time-gated images", Proc. SPIE 7568, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues VIII, 75681A (24 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.845790; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.845790


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