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0.5 billion events per second time correlated single photon counting using CMOS SPAD arrays

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4305-4308
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2015


We present a digital architecture for fast acquisition of time
correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) events from
a 32 × 32 complementary metal oxide semiconductor
(CMOS) single photon avalanche detector (SPAD) array
(Megaframe) to the computer memory. Custom firmware
was written to transmit event codes from 1024-TCSPCenabled
pixels for fast transfer of TCSPC events. Our
1024-channel TCSPC system is capable of acquiring up
to 0.5 × 109 TCSPC events per second with 16 histogram
bins spanning a 14 ns width. Other options include 320 ×
106 TCSPC events per second with 256 histogram bins
spanning either a 14 or 56 ns time window. We present a
wide-field fluorescence microscopy setup demonstrating
fast fluorescence lifetime data acquisition. To the best of
our knowledge, this is the fastest direct TCSPC transfer
from a single photon counting device to the computer to

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