[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 20, No. 1 (2013) 1-6]
© 2013 The Japan Society of Applied Physics

Time-Between-Photons Method for Measuring Fluorescence Lifetimes

Yasuhiro MIZUTANI, Kohta SHINAGAWA, Takahiko MIZUNO, and Tetsuo IWATA*

Division of Energy System, Institute of Technology and Science, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima 770-8506, Japan

(Received July 19, 2012; Accepted November 5, 2012)

We have applied a time-between-photons (TBP) method to measure fluorescence lifetimes in a pulsed-light excitation scheme. The TBP method has been originally proposed by Rossi and his coworkers in the field of ion photon emission microscopy (IPEM) for measuring lifetimes of ion-luminescent materials [Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res., Sect. B 267 (2009) 2193]. The TBP method has an advantage in that no reference signal is required in the instrumental setup. In the present paper, we demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, that the TBP method is also applicable to measure conventional fluorescence lifetimes. The TBP method suits for measuring fluorescent samples whose lifetimes are sufficiently long (≥10 ns) and intensities are moderately high (≤4× 10-8 W): fluorescent samples with intermediate quantum yields for which the conventional time-correlated single-photon-counting (TC-SPC) method is somewhat difficult to employ as it is and the conventional analogue light-measurement method is still hard to use.

Key words: time-between-photons method, fluorescence lifetime, spectroscopic techniques, instrumentation

*E-mail address: iwata@me.tokushima-u.ac.jp