Improving TCSPC data acquisition from CMOS SPAD arrays

Nikola Krstajić, Simon Poland, David Tyndall, Richard Walker, Simao Coelho, David D U Li, Justin Richardson, Simon Ameer-Beg, Robert Henderson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

6 Citations (Scopus)


We present a digital architecture for fast acquisition of time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) timestamps from 32×32 CMOS SPAD array. Custom firmware was written to select 64 pixels out of 1024 available for fast transfer of TCSPC timestamps. Our 64 channel TCSPC is capable of acquiring up to 10 million TCSPC timestamps per second over a USB2 link. We describe the TCSPC camera (Megaframe), camera interface to the PC and the microscope setup. We characterize the Megaframe camera for fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) including instrument response function, time resolution and variability of both across the array. We show a fluorescence lifetime image of a plant specimen (Convallaria majalis) from a custom-built multifocal multiphoton microscope. The image was acquired in 20 seconds (with average timestamp acquisition rate of 4.7 million counts per second). 

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE 8797
Subtitle of host publicationAdvanced Microscopy Techniques III
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2013
EventAdvanced Microscopy Techniques III - Munich, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 May 201316 May 2013


ConferenceAdvanced Microscopy Techniques III
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • fluorescence lifetime
  • single photon avalanche photodetector
  • time correlated single photon counting
  • fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy
  • luminescence
  • microscopes


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