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Abstract
We report an enhanced photon count rate in a digitally implemented time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) system by utilizing a hybrid photodetector (HPD). In our digital TCSPC scheme, the photoelectronic responses from a single photon-sensitive photodetector are digitally analyzed through a high-speed analog-to-digital convertor (ADC). By virtue of the HPD which provides nearly a constant signal gain, the single-photon pulses can be effectively distinguished from pulses of simultaneously detected multiple photons by the pulse heights. Consequently, our digital TCSPC system can selectively collect single-photon signals even in the presence of intense multi-photon detections with its temporal accuracy not to be compromised. In our experiment of fluorescence lifetime measurement, the maximum count rate of single photons nearly reached the theoretical limit given by the Poisson statistics. This demonstrated that the digital TCSPC combined with the HPD provides an ultimate solution for the TCSPC implementation for high photon count rates.
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