A vertically integrated CMOS microsystem for time-resolved fluorescence analysis

B.R. Rae, J Yang, Jonathan Mckendry, Zheng Gong, D. Renshaw, J.M. Girkin, Erdan Gu, Martin Dawson, R.K. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a two-chip micro-scale time-resolved fluorescence analyzer integrating excitation, detection, and filtering. A new 8×8 array of drivers realized in standard low-voltage 0.35-μm complementary metal-oxide semiconductor is bump-bonded to AlInGaN blue micro-pixellated light-emitting diodes (micro-LEDs). The array is capable of producing sample excitation pulses with a width of 777 ps (FWHM), enabling short lifetime fluorophores to be investigated. The fluorescence emission is detected by a second, vertically-opposed 16 × 4 array of single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) fabricated in 0.35-μm high-voltage CMOS technology with in-pixel time-gated photon counting circuitry. Captured chip data are transferred to a PC for further processing, including histogramming, lifetime extraction, calibration and background/noise compensation. This constitutes the smallest reported solid-state microsystem for fluorescence decay analysis, replacing lasers, photomultiplier tubes, bulk optics, and discrete electronics. The system is demonstrated with measurements of fluorescent colloidal quantum dot and Rhodamine samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • single-photon avalanche diodes
  • biophotonics
  • GaN micro light emitting diodes
  • biosensors
  • complementary metal oxide semiconductor
  • CMOS
  • integrated circuits
  • fluorescence
  • fluorescence lifetime


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