PicoQuant releases first TCSPC system with USB 3.0
The new “HydraHarp 400” is now qualified for most advanced high throughput applications and facilitates life science work as well as quantum information processing.
Berlin (Germany), 9 August 2012 – PicoQuant introduces an upgraded version of the multichannel Picosecond Event Timer and Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting system “HydraHarp 400”. The new HydraHarp model is the first TCSPC system with USB 3.0 PC-interface. It has a modular design and can be fitted with 2, 4, 6 or 8 identical input channels and a common sync channel. The large number of input channels qualifies the instrument for advanced applications such as Diffuse Optical Tomography (DOT) where data rates can be very high. Such applications greatly benefit from the new USB 3.0 interface as it improves data throughput as much as 5-fold.
All channels of the device operate independently but with a common crystal time base. Not only TCSPC histograms but also picosecond coincidence correlations across all channels can be obtained. The latter is of great interest in single molecule work and quantum information processing research. A time-tagged data collection mode provides a stream of individual timing events to the host computer. This stream can be processed and analyzed with virtually unlimited flexibility, e.g. for photon burst detection, coincidence correlation or for combined measurement of fluorescence lifetime and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS). Especially the time tagging mode benefits from the high throughput of USB 3.0, so that 40 millions of events/sec can be recorded continuously on disk.
The high timing resolution of the HydraHarp 400 qualifies the system for use with high resolution detectors such as a Micro Channel Plate PMT (MCP-PMT). Overall time resolutions of 30 ps can be achieved. The instrument can also be used with all other common single photon detectors. Fully software controlled Constant Fraction Discriminators (CFD) in all channels ensure precise and optimized timing. The USB interface provides a high degree of portability across laboratories with “plug & play” ease of use. The system hardware is partially reconfigurable by software for the implementation of different measurement modes and field upgrades. The system software runs on all recent Windows platforms from XP to 7 including the x64 versions.
PicoQuant GmbH is a research and development company in the field of optoelectronics. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in the science and technology park Berlin-Adlershof, Germany. The company is a worldwide leader in the field of single photon counting applications. The product line includes pulsed diode lasers and LEDs, photon counting instrumentation, fluorescence lifetime spectrometers and time-resolved confocal microscopes. PicoQuant employs currently around 50 people. Since April 2008 Sales and Support in North America is handled by PicoQuant Photonics North America Inc.
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