New data acquisition software is now available for the PicoHarp 300 time-correlated single photon counting system from PicoQuant. The new version 2.2 provides driver support for the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. It also supports control for further monochromator models, permitting the automated recording of time-resolved emission spectra (TRES).
The PicoHarp is based on an entirely new time digitiser with 4ps resolution, a short dead time, a processing rate of up to 10 million counts per second and an extremely low differential non-linearity. New features include two identical input channels that can operate independently, but with a common crystal time base, allowing both TCSPC histograms for the measurement of fluorescence decays and picosecond coincidence correlations. This is implemented using the instrument's Time-Tagged Time-Resolved (TTTR) mode, which records the picosecond arrival time of each individual photon.
External markers can be recorded to provide synchronisation with existing imaging devices including laser scanning microscopes (LSM). Dedicated upgrade kits for widespread microscope models are available. Fluorescence lifetime images can be recorded with these systems at virtually any resolution and size.
The high timing resolution allows use with high-resolution detectors such as Micro Channel Plate PMT (MCP-PMT). Overall time resolutions of 30ps can be achieved this way. The PicoHarp can also be used with all other common single photon detectors. Fully software controlled constant fraction discriminators (CFD) in both input channels ensure precise and optimised timing for a wide range of detectors.