Single Photons


We perform the timestamping of single photons with a time resolution of 20 ns, by coupling TimepixCam to a fast image-intensifier with a P47 phosphor screen.

The fast emission time of the P47 allows us to preserve good time resolution while maintaining the capability to focus the optical output of the intensifier onto the 256×256 pixel Timepix sensor area.

We have characterised the photon detection capabilities of this detector system and employed it on a wide-feld epifluorescence microscope to map phosphorescence decays of various iridium complexes with lifetimes of about 1 µs in 200 µm diameter polystyrene beads. The capability of the (TimepixCam + image intensifier) setup is demonstrated to provide high-resolution single-photon timestamping, with an effective frame rate of 50 MHz.


  • I. Chakaberia, M. Cotlet, M. Fisher-Levine, DR Hodges, J. Nguen and A.Nomerotski: 'Time stamping of single optical photons with 10 ns resolution'. SPIE Commercial+ Scientific Sensing and Imaging, 102120Q-102120Q-7.
  • L. M. Hirvonen, M. Fisher-Levine, K. Suhling, and A. Nomerotski: 'Photon counting phosphorescence lifetime imaging with TimepixCam'. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 88, 013104 (2017).