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29 April 2016 A current-assisted CMOS photonic sampler with two taps for fluorescence lifetime sensing
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Imaging based on fluorescence lifetime is becoming increasingly important in medical and biological applications. State-of- the-art fluorescence lifetime microscopes either use bulky and expensive gated image intensifiers coupled to a CCD or single-photon detectors in a slow scanning setup. Numerous attempts are being made to create compact, cost-effective all- CMOS imagers for fluorescence lifetime sensing. Single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) imagers can have very good timing resolution and noise characteristics but have low detection efficiency. Another approach is to use CMOS imagers based on demodulation detectors. These imagers can be either very fast or very efficient but it remains a challenge to combine both characteristics. Recently we developed the current-assisted photonic sampler (CAPS) to tackle these problems and in this work, we present a new CAPS with two detection taps that can sample a fluorescence decay in two time windows. In the case of mono-exponential decays, two windows provide enough information to resolve the lifetime. We built an electro-optical setup to characterize the detector and use it for fluorescence lifetime measurements. It consists of a supercontinuum pulsed laser source, an optical system to focus light into the detector and picosecond timing electronics. We describe the structure and operation of the two-tap CAPS and provide basic characterization of the speed performance at multiple wavelengths in the visible and near-infrared spectrum. We also record fluorescence decays of different visible and NIR fluorescent dyes and provide different methods to resolve the fluorescence lifetime.
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H. Ingelberts and M. Kuijk "A current-assisted CMOS photonic sampler with two taps for fluorescence lifetime sensing", Proc. SPIE 9896, Optics, Photonics and Digital Technologies for Imaging Applications IV, 98960Y (29 April 2016);

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