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quTAG

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quTAG The quTAG is a high-speed Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) system. It is capable of detecting events with a digital resolution of 1 picosecond (ps) and a jitter under 10 ps RMS using four to 16 different channels.

This allows it to capture up to 100 million time tags per second. It registers all signals between -2 up to +3 volts, like the widely used LVTTL or NIM. Separate channels for start and external clock are usable on the front panel. It connects with a computer via USB, preferably USB 3.0, to transfer the extensive data. It is delivered including software for Windows and Linux with an easy to use graphical user interface. DLLs and examples for LabVIEW and Python also are included.
  • Features
  • Applications
  • Specifications
  • Use Cases
  • PDFs
  •  < 25 ps / < 10 ps timing jitter (FWHM/RMS)
  • 100 MEvents/s max. rate
  • 1 ps digital resolution
  • 4 stop channels, 1 start channel
  • Max. 16 stop channels
  • Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC)
  • Quantum Optics / Information / Communication
  • Fluorescence / Phosphorescence Lifetime Imaging
  • Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)
  • Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscopy (STED)
  • Foerster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)
  • Single Photon Emitter Characterization
  • LIDAR

Timing jitter

< 10 ps RMS
< 25 ps FWHM

Digital resolution

1 ps

Number of stop channels   

4 (max. 16)

Max event rate

100 M/s (per device)
25 M/s (per channel)

Input signals

e.g. LVTTL, NIM
everything between -2 V and +3 V

Input connectors

SMA

Connection to PC

USB 3.0
USB 2.0

Software

GUI, DLL, LabVIEW, Python,
Command line Windows, Linux

Dimensions

44 cm x 30 cm x 5 cm

We used the quTAG for two experiments together with the superconducting nanowire single photon detector (SNSPD) from our long-time collaborators at Single Quantum. The results proved the efficiency and speed that we expected as we engineered the quTAG.

Measurement 1: Laser trigger as Start, Single Quantum SNSPD as Stop

 

We measured a time difference histogram between the trigger pulse from the laser as start and the SQ detector signal as stop.
This is basically the setup for a Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) measurement..

 

Results:
Whole system response function (blue, measured with quTAG): Timing jitter 17.8 ps RMS, 35.9 ps FWHM. For comparison: Detector response function (red, measured with fast oscilloscope): Timing jitter 14.5 ps RMS, 26.1 ps FWHM.

 

Measurement 2: One SQ Detector as Start, another one as Stop

 

Here, we measured the time difference histogram between one of the two SQ SNSPDs as Start and the other one as Stop pulse.

 

Results:
Timing jitter of 2 SQ SNSPDs measured with the quTAG (blue): 21.6 ps RMS, 45.6 ps FWHM.