PicoQuant - It's about time
Leading in Single Photon Counting Applications

Fluorescence Spectrometers

FluoTime 300

High Performance Fluorescence Lifetime Spectrometer

  • Fully automated system with modular and flexible design
  • Time-resolved and steady-state operation
  • Easy to use software with application wizards and scripting option
  • Lifetimes from picoseconds to milliseconds
  • Ultimate sensitivity with 24000:1 Water Raman SNR

The FluoTime 300 "EasyTau" is a fully automated, high performance fluorescence lifetime spectrometer with steady-state and phosphorescence option. The FluoTime 300 contains the complete optics and electronics for recording fluorescence decays by means of Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) or Multichannel Scaling (MCS). The system is designed to be used with picosecond pulsed diode lasers, LEDs or Xenon lamps. Multiple detector options enable a large range of system configurations. When used in combination with the PMA 175 that has almost no darkcounts, the system features an ultimate sensitivity with a record breaking 24.000:1 Water Raman SNR. The FluoTime 300 can be used to study fluorescence and phosphorescence decays from few picoseconds to several seconds.

Versatile sample chamber

The sample chamber contains a versatile sample holder (standard: cuvette, optional: front-face). Temperature control of the cuvette holder is possible by attaching an external thermostat (tubing for the circulating fluid is pre-installed) or with an optional peltier-cooled single- or multi-cuvette sample holder. A cryostat can be integrated for measurements at low temperature.

Versatile sample chamber of the FluoTime 300 The sample chamber is designed around modular sample holders (standard: cuvette, optional: front-face), which allow a quick and easy change between different sample configurations, e. g. liquids, powders, or wafers. Temperature control of the cuvette holder is possible by attaching an external thermostat (tubing for the circulating fluid is pre-installed) or with an optional peltier-cooled single- or multi-cuvette sample holder. A cryostat can be integrated for measurements at low temperature. The range of available sample holders also includes a front face version for samples of up to 2 inch size. The holder permits to change position and angle of the sample with respect to the direction of excitation and detection from outside of the sample compartment. This special feature is extremely useful for an on-line optimization of the beam position on the sample while the measurement is running.

Flexible excitation sources

FluoTime 300 - PDL 820 with LDH SeriesThe FluoTime 300 is designed to be used with picosecond pulsed lasers, LEDs and Xenon flash lamps. Pulsed laser and LEDs are available in a very broad wavelength range from 245 nm to 1550 nm. They can be varied in output power and operated at any repetition rate from single shot to 80 MHz (depending on wavelength) as well as in pulse bursts at low repetition rate intervals. This special feature allows to match the excitation conditions ideally to the sample requirements, from fluorescence with short lifetimes to weak phosphorescence. A specialized driver unit of the PDL Series, the PDL 820, is used to control the individual excitation source. The FluoTime 300 can also be equipped with a Xenon arc lamp and/or a Xenon flash lamp which enable excitation at any wavelength from 200 nm to 900 nm. Along with a dedicated high-resolution monochromator steady-state excitation spectra become possible.

TCSPC and MCS based data acquisition

TimeHarp 260 -  TCSPC and MCS board with PCIe interfaceSeveral outstanding data acquisition units are available for time-resolved as well as steady-state fluorescence measurements. The TimeHarp 260 PICO offers an adjustable temporal resolution from 25 ps to 5.2 ms and is therefore the perfect choice for measuring steady-state and time-resolved emission with lifetimes ranging from a few ten picoseconds up to several milliseconds. The TimeHarp 260 NANO is a dedicated MCS board that has a minimum base resolution of 1 ns and no dead time between channels. The TimeHarp 260 NANO is therefore ideally suited for steady-state measurements or for lifetime measurements up to the second time scale. Any of these data acquisition units are the perfect match for systems equipped with a detector of the PMA Series or PMA Hybrid Series.
For measuring ultrafast dynamics the PicoHarp 300 offers an even better temporal resolution (4 ps) and is therefore recommended for FluoTime 300 systems equipped with a MCP-PMT detector. In that case even dynamics of tens of picoseconds can be resolved.

Several available detector types

Hybrid Photomultiplier Detector AssemblyThe FluoTime 300 uses single photon counting detectors of various types, attached to an exit slit of the emission monochromator. The system can work with one or two detectors. The available detectors are either photomultiplier tubes (PMA Series or NIR-PMTs), Hybrid-PMT modules (PMA Hybrid Series) or Microchannel Plate Photomultiplier Tubes (MCP-PMTs). The detectors offer picosecond temporal resolutions and cover different spectral ranges between 180 nm and 1700 nm. Each detector includes an electro-mechanical shutter, optional cooling, and an overload protection that can be operated from the system software.

System software "EasyTau"

EasyTau - Screenshot of the FluoTime 300 softwareThe FluoTime 300 features an intuitive and easy-to-use system software. All measurement data files and all related analysis results are stored in a clearly arranged workspace, which resembles the familiar tree structure of a hard drive directory. Data dependencies are thus visible at first glance. Steady-State and time-resolved measurements can be performed alternatively from the same software interface.The software features three data acquisition possibilities. Specifically designed application wizards guide the user through the necessary optimization steps for performing typical measurement tasks such as fluorescence lifetime measurements, anisotropy measurements, collection of emission spectra or Time-Resolved Emission Spectra (TRES). For those familiar with the technique, a customized measurement mode for full instrument control is also available. More sophisticated application tasks, like, for example, alternating between time-resolved decays and steady-state spectra at different temperatures over night, can be easily performed through scripted data acquisition using the integrated scripting language of the EasyTau software.

Steady-state data can by analyzed through the same software interface (arithmetic, integration, etc..) whereas time-resolved data can be directly transferred to the established FluoFit software . The FluoFit software features global decay analysis with an easy-to-use graphical user interface and presentation-ready numerical and graphical output. It implements an iterative reconvolution fitting routine with nonlinear error minimization. Various exponential decay models (up to fourth order) or rate constant distribution models can be fitted to the observed decay in order to determine the fluorescence lifetime(s) or to study fluorescence anisotropy, along with rigorous error analysis methods.

Course on time-resolved fluorescence

logo TRF coursePicoQuant annually holds the European short course on "Principles and Applications of Time-resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy". The course is intended for individuals wishing an in-depth introduction to the principles of fluorescence spectroscopy and its applications to the Life Sciences. The course is held in cooperation with Prof. J.R. Lakowicz from the Center of Fluorescence Spectroscopy (CFS) in Baltimore and consists of lectures as well as instrumentation and software hands-on training. For details see the course website.


Detailed specifications are available for download as a PDF document.

Optical configuration
  • L-Geometry
Mode of operation
  • Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC)
  • Multichannel Scaling (MCS)
Sensitivity
  • Signal-to-noise ratio typically better than 24000:1 (with PMA 175), as measured from a water Raman spectrum, excitation wavelength 350 nm, spectral bandwidth 5 nm, integration time 1 s
Lifetime range
  • 50 ps to 10 µs with PMT detector and TCSPC electronics
  • < 20 ps to 10 µs with Hybrid detectors and TCSPC electronics
  • < 10 ps to 10 µs with MCP-PMT detector, TCSPC electronics, and suitable laser
  • Up to several 100 ms with any detector and MCS electronics
Excitation sources
  • Picosecond pulsed diode lasers or LEDs with repetition rates up to 80 MHz, common driver unit
  • Sub-microsecond pulsed Xenon flash lamp
  • 300 W Xenon arc lamp
  • External lasers such as Titanium:Sapphire lasers or pulsed DPSS lasers
Monochromators
  • Czerny-Turner type
  • Focal length: 150 mm or 300 mm, single or dual exit slits
  • Grating with 1200 g/mm, blazed at 500 nm (other gratings on request)
  • Slit width adjustable between 10 µm and 4 mm (continuously adjustable, full computer control), dispersion 2.7 nm /mm
  • Stray light rejection typically 1:105
Detectors
  • Cooled or uncooled detectors
  • Photomultiplier Tubes (PMTs) with various spectral ranges and sensitivities between 185 nm and 920 nm
  • Microchannel Plate Photomultiplier Tubes (MCP-PMTs) with various spectral ranges between 185 nm and 910 nm
  • Infrared sensitive Photomultiplier Tubes (PMTs) with different spectral ranges between 950 nm and 1700 nm
  • Hybrid-PMT with various spectral ranges and sensitivities  between 300 nm and 750 nm
Software
  • Easy to use, comprehensive, Windows based system and analysis software
  • Data archiving in workspace, data export features, data arithmetic
  • Application wizards for several typical measurement tasks
  • “Customized measurement” mode with full instrument control
  • Scripting language for user-defined data acquisition and measurement sequences
  • Lifetime analysis based on numerical reconvolution procedure, up to 4th exponential decay functions, lifetime distributions, anisotropy, global analysis, rigorous error analysis

All Information given here is reliable to our best knowledge. However, no responsibility is assumed for possible inaccuracies or omissions. Specifications and external appearances are subject to change without notice.

NIR-PMT detector

FluoTime 200 - NIR PMTThese special photomultipliers are suitable for single photon counting in the NIR. The H10330-45 features an InGaAsP photocathode and is sensitive in the wavelength range from 950 nm to 1400 nm. The H10330-75 variant has an InGaAs photocathode and its sensitivity range is extended to 1700 nm. The module has a thermally insulated sealed-off housing evacuated to a high vacuum. No liquid nitrogen, vacuum pumps nor water cooling is necessary.


MCP-PMT detector

FluoTime 200 - cooled MCP-PMTThese are the fastest photon counting detectors today. Various photocathode materials cover the wavelength range from 160 nm to 910 nm. Using this detector and Ti:Sapphire laser excitation, instrument response functions as short as 32 ps were achieved with the FluoTime 200. The modules have a dedicated high voltage power supply. Optionally, they can be mounted into a thermoelectrically cooled housing. In this case, water cooling is necessary.


Liquid nitrogen cryostat

FluoTime 200 - liquid nitrogen cryostatThe sample chamber is large enough to accommodate an Oxford Instruments OptistatDN series cryostat. This optional component allows low temperature photoluminescence measurements to be made. Precise control of the sample temperature is possible with various cryostat types from 2.3 K to 500 K. A stand-alone digital cryostat controller is included.


Closed cycle helium cryostat

FluoTIme 300 - Closed cycle helium cryostatThe closed-cycle helium cryostat DE-202 is a compact, axially symmetrical, closed-cycle cryocooler. This cooler is ideal for small heat loads such as sample cooling applications. This cryostat enables low temperature photoluminescence measurements from 4 K to 500 K.


Rapid kinetic (stopped-flow) accessories

FluoTime 200 - stopped flowRapid kinetic accessories (SFA-20 series) from TgK Scientific Ltd. make possible to monitor fast reactions (on millisecond time scale) in solution, like enzyme kinetics, quenching, association/dissociation, etc. The accessory has an empirical deadtime < 8 ms. Microvolume version, pneumatic drive, anaerobic kit, variable ratio mixing, multi-mixing versions, and advanced analysis software (Kinetic Studio) are available as options.


Integrating sphere

For all scattering samples, the use of an integrating sphere to measure the absolute photoluminescence quantum yield is mandatory. The FluoTime 300 features an integrating sphere for solutions as well as for solid samples. It is able to reproduce published literature data of selected quantum yield standards such as Rhodamin 6G, Coumarin 153, and Ru(bpy)3.


Solea supercontinuum laser

Solea - Supercontinuum LaserThe wavelength tunability and the variable repetition rates of the supercontinuum laser Solea, combined with the short pulse widths allows to perform excitation scans as well as fluorescence lifetime measurements over a broad spectral and temporal range with only a single laser. The Solea laser can be directly controlled from the EasyTau software.



The FluoTime 300 "Easy Tau" features an intuitive and easy-to-use system software. All measurement data files and all related analysis results are stored in a clearly arranged workspace, which resembles the familiar tree structure of a hard drive directory. Data dependencies are thus visible at first glance.

Steady-State and Time Resolved measurements can be performed alternatively from the same software interface. The software features three data acquisition possibilities. Specifically designed application wizards guide the user through the necessary optimization steps for performing typical measurement tasks such as fluorescence lifetime measurements, anisotropy measurements, collection of emission spectra or Time-Resolved Emission Spectra (TRES). For those familiar with the technique an additional customized measurement mode for full instrument control is also available. More sophisticated application tasks, like, for example, alternating between time-resolved decays and steady-state spectra at different temperatures over night, can be easily performed through scripted data acquisition using the integrated scripting language of the EasyTau software.

The following recorded software videos give an in-depth demonstration of the powerful application wizards.


The FluoTime 300 is a high performance fluorescence lifetime spectrometer with a steady-state add-on. It can be used to study various samples and perform several applications, including:



Latest 10 publications referencing FluoTime 300

The following list is an extract of 10 recent publications from our bibliography that either bear reference or are releated to this product in some way. Do you miss your publication? If yes, we will be happy to include it in our bibliography. Please send an e-mail to info@picoquant.com containing the appropriate citation. Thank you very much in advance for your kind co-operation.