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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 160;

A Full Parallel Event Driven Readout Technique for Area Array SPAD FLIM Image Sensors

School of Electronic Information Engineering, Tianjin University, 92 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300072, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 4 December 2015 / Revised: 16 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3876 KB, uploaded 27 January 2016]   |  


This paper presents a full parallel event driven readout method which is implemented in an area array single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) image sensor for high-speed fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). The sensor only records and reads out effective time and position information by adopting full parallel event driven readout method, aiming at reducing the amount of data. The image sensor includes four 8 × 8 pixel arrays. In each array, four time-to-digital converters (TDCs) are used to quantize the time of photons’ arrival, and two address record modules are used to record the column and row information. In this work, Monte Carlo simulations were performed in Matlab in terms of the pile-up effect induced by the readout method. The sensor’s resolution is 16 × 16. The time resolution of TDCs is 97.6 ps and the quantization range is 100 ns. The readout frame rate is 10 Mfps, and the maximum imaging frame rate is 100 fps. The chip’s output bandwidth is 720 MHz with an average power of 15 mW. The lifetime resolvability range is 5–20 ns, and the average error of estimated fluorescence lifetimes is below 1% by employing CMM to estimate lifetimes. View Full-Text
Keywords: SPAD; FLIM; CMM; event driven readout; image sensor SPAD; FLIM; CMM; event driven readout; image sensor

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Nie, K.; Wang, X.; Qiao, J.; Xu, J. A Full Parallel Event Driven Readout Technique for Area Array SPAD FLIM Image Sensors. Sensors 2016, 16, 160.

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