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Title: Improving the counting efficiency in time-correlated single photon counting experiments by dead-time optimization

Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) has been long recognized as the most sensitive method for fluorescence lifetime measurements, but often requiring “long” data acquisition times. This drawback is related to the limited counting capability of the TCSPC technique, due to pile-up and counting loss effects. In recent years, multi-module TCSPC systems have been introduced to overcome this issue. Splitting the light into several detectors connected to independent TCSPC modules proportionally increases the counting capability. Of course, multi-module operation also increases the system cost and can cause space and power supply problems. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach based on a new detector and processing electronics designed to reduce the overall system dead time, thus enabling efficient photon collection at high excitation rate. We present a fast active quenching circuit for single-photon avalanche diodes which features a minimum dead time of 12.4 ns. We also introduce a new Time-to-Amplitude Converter (TAC) able to attain extra-short dead time thanks to the combination of a scalable array of monolithically integrated TACs and a sequential router. The fast TAC (F-TAC) makes it possible to operate the system towards the upper limit of detector count rate capability (∼80 Mcps) with reduced pile-up losses,more » addressing one of the historic criticisms of TCSPC. Preliminary measurements on the F-TAC are presented and discussed.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22482587
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 86; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; COUNTING RATES; DATA ACQUISITION; DEAD TIME; EFFICIENCY; EXCITATION; FLUORESCENCE; LOSSES; OPTIMIZATION; PHOTONS; TIME-TO-AMPLITUDE CONVERTERS