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.
Flexible excitation sources
The 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
Several 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
The 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"
The 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
PicoQuant 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.
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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.
These 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.
These 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
The 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
The 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
Rapid 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.
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.
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:
- Time-Resolved Fluorescence
- Singlet Oxygen
- Time-Resolved Photoluminescence (TRPL)
- Fluorescence Upconversion
- Fluorescence Anisotropy (Polarization)
- Steady-State Fluorescence Spectroscopy
- Fluorescence Anisotropy
- Quantum Yield Measurements
- LEDs, OLEDs, quantum dots
The following documents are available for download:
- Brochure about the FluoTime 300
- Specifications of the FluoTime 300
- Technical note: Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC)
Latest 10 publications referencing FluoTime 300
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