PicoHarp 300 - DLL under Linux Jan 22, 2007
Linux Programming Library for TCSPC System PicoHarp 300
A new programmer's library is now available supporting the PicoHarp 300 Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting system from PicoQuant under the GNU Linux operating system. The new library is fully API compatible with the corresponding library version 2.0 for Windows. It comes as a shared library supporting several new features also available under Windows, most importantly support for multiple PicoHarp devices operated simultaneously. The new library supports all 32 bit 2.6 Linux versions. It furthermore allows multi-detector routing with a new router model, the PHR 800. This device supports PMTs as well as NIM and TTL SPAD detectors. The new library also provides improvements for the instrument's Time-Tagged Time-Resolved (TTTR) mode, were all photons or other events are captured as precisely timed individual records. The library of course supports the latest PicoHarp hardware, providing four external marker inputs. These markers for synchronization with other processes can be recorded as part of the TTTR mode data stream. This provides synchronization with virtually all existing imaging devices including laser scanning microscopes (LSM). This allows to record fluorescence lifetime images with these systems at virtually any resolution and size. The PicoHarp is based on an entirely new time digitizer with 4 picoseconds resolution and a processing rate of up to 10 million counts per second. Through the programing library, users can exploit its unique new features, notably two identical input channels that can operate independently, but with a common crystal time base. Therefore, not only classical TCSPC histograms for the measurement of fluorescence decays, but also picosecond coincidence correlations can be obtained. The latter is of great interest in single molecule spectroscopy and general quantum physics. The high timing resolution qualifies the system for use with high resolution detectors such as Micro Channel Plate PMT (MCP-PMT). Sync rates from excitation sources can be as fast as 84 MHz but even very slow sources can be used efficiently with 'multi-stop' acquisition on the detector channel, e.g. in time of flight or OTDR applications.. The on-board histogramming mode provides up to 65536 bins. This results in a time span of 262 ns. The base resolution of 4 ps can be binned down to 8, 16, 32, .., 512 ps in hardware, thereby providing histogram time spans up to 33 Âµs. Time spans in Time Tagged mode are virtually unlimited. The PicoHarp system is designed as a USB 2.0 â€žPlug and Playâ€œ device, allowing control and data acquisition from a regular desktop computer or notebook PC. Access to the USB interface through the library is implemented via LibUSB, so that no kernel driver is required. The new Linux version of the programmer's library is provided free of charge to all owners of an earlier version. It supports not only the current gcc compiler but also the popular LabVIEW environment as well as Borland's Kylix. A set of sample application source code is provided with the library to help developers getting started quickly.
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