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Full spectrum fluorescence lifetime imaging with 0.5 nm spectral and 50 ps temporal resolution

Williams, Gareth O. S. and Williams, Elvira and Finlayson, Neil and Erdogan, Ahmet T. and Wang, Qiang and Fernandes, Susan and Akram, Ahsan R. and Dhaliwal, Kev and Henderson, Robert K. and Girkin, John M. and Bradley, Mark (2021) 'Full spectrum fluorescence lifetime imaging with 0.5 nm spectral and 50 ps temporal resolution.', Nature Communications, 12 . p. 6616.


The use of optical techniques to interrogate wide ranging samples from semiconductors to biological tissue for rapid analysis and diagnostics has gained wide adoption over the past decades. The desire to collect ever more spatially, spectrally and temporally detailed optical signatures for sample characterization has specifically driven a sharp rise in new optical microscopy technologies. Here we present a high-speed optical scanning microscope capable of capturing time resolved images across 512 spectral and 32 time channels in a single acquisition with the potential for ~0.2 frames per second (256 × 256 image pixels). Each pixel in the resulting images contains a detailed data cube for the study of diverse time resolved light driven phenomena. This is enabled by integration of system control electronics and on-chip processing which overcomes the challenges presented by high data volume and low imaging speed, often bottlenecks in previous systems.

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Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date accepted:15 October 2021
Date deposited:18 November 2021
Date of first online publication:16 November 2021
Date first made open access:18 November 2021

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