11/06/2009 • Image processing / Optical metrology • Laboratory appliances • Microscopy / Imaging

New Fluorescence Lifetime Spectroscopy System - the C10627 Streakscope

Since many years the streak technology is well established as the high-end method
for time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. It is employed in a range of complete
measurement systems Hamamatsu is offering.

Other well-known methods in this field are time-correlated single photon counting
(TCSPC) using a PMT or MCP-PMT as a detector, and gated spectroscopy using a
gated II-CCD. Compared to these, streak-based systems offer two major
advantages. The first is its unsurpassed temporal resolution, reaching into the sub-ps
domain. The second is its "2-dimensional" measurement method, yielding superior
measurement efficiency.

In case of the streak method no valuable photons are lost, and the measurement
times needed to achieve good data are dramatically reduced. So, even extremely
weak samples can be measured within reasonable times.

Like TCSPC, also the streak method can detect single photons and count them
individually, thereby giving excellent (Poissonian) measurement statistics. This is
important to achieve a large dynamic range (105:1and more) and for correct data
analysis. And, unlike TCSPC, a streak system can count photons even when there
are many photons in a single fluorescence pulse, thereby even allowing to use light
sources with a low repetition rate.The brand-new C10627 streak detector is the successor of the well-known "Streakscope" detector. It offers two big quantitative improvements along the above mentioned themes:

  • The streak sweep repetition rate is further improved by a full order of magnitude. (This means it can integrate up to 20 million fully time-resolved spectra per second!) This will give ten times shorter measurement times in case of very weak samples.
  • The maximum photon counting rate is improved by a factor of about five. This allows shorter measurement times in case of samples with stronger emissions.

Both improvements extend the capabilities of these systems even further, allowing efficient measurements even in most demanding applications.

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