29 May 2013 High speed multichannel time-correlated single photon counting electronics based on SiGe integrated time-to-digital converters
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Abstract
Time Correlated Single Photon counting (TCSPC) with picosecond timing is a key method in many areas of applied physics. One of the most important areas is that of fluorescence lifetime measurement in biophysics and the life sciences. Precisely timed photon counting for the purpose of coincidence correlation is now also emerging as the most common approach to quantum state interpretation in experimental quantum optics. Therefore, time-correlated single photon counting electronics, traditionally mostly used in time-resolved fluorescence research are facing new challenges in different emerging areas. Consequently such instruments are undergoing a fresh cycle of innovation, some of which we try to highlight here. The new picosecond TCSPC system we present provides several interesting new features resulting from a high speed monolithic integration in one of the fastest semiconductor technologies available today. The result is a high timing resolution by direct digital conversion and a very short deadtime. Apart from conventional histogramming over a very long time span, we can implement continouos single photon recording modes hat allow picosecond timing of all photon events with respect both to a sync signal as well as on a virtually infinite time scale. Multiple timing channels can also be operated indpendently and in parallel, e.g. for picosecond correlation analysis between signals from multiple photon detectors.
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Michael Wahl, Michael Wahl, Tino Röhlicke, Tino Röhlicke, Hans-Jürgen Rahn, Hans-Jürgen Rahn, Volker Buschmann, Volker Buschmann, Nick Bertone, Nick Bertone, Gerald Kell, Gerald Kell, } "High speed multichannel time-correlated single photon counting electronics based on SiGe integrated time-to-digital converters", Proc. SPIE 8727, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VII, 87270W (29 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2018039; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2018039
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