Continuous real-time measurement of fluorescence lifetimes

W. Trabesinger, C. G. Hübner, B. Hecht, U. P. Wild

10 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the continuous measurement of fluorescence lifetimes at low light levels. Fluorescence photons following pulsed excitation generate a pulse sequence with exponentially distributed amplitudes and interphoton times at the output of a time-to-amplitude converter. This sequence is turned into a continuous step function and is time averaged with an adjustable bandwidth. For a single-exponential decay, our approach yields identical results as would be obtained from fitting fluorescence decays, while being a real-time technique. The proposed technique performs especially well at low count rates. We demonstrate the applicability of the method at the example of confocal fluorescence lifetime imaging of single molecules.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number8
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2002


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