Cylindrical microlensing for enhanced collection efficiency of small pixel SPAD arrays in single-molecule localisation microscopy

Istvan Gyongy, Amy Davies, Benjamin Gallinet, Neale A. W. Dutton, Rory R. Duncan, Colin Rickman, Robert K. Henderson, Paul A. Dalgarno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Single-photon avalanche photodiode (SPAD) image sensors offer time-gated photon counting, at high binary frame rates of >100 kFPS and with no readout noise. This makes them well-suited to a range of scientific applications, including microscopy, sensing and quantum optics. However, due to the complex electronics required, the fill factor tends to be significantly lower (< 10%) than that of EMCCD and sCMOS cameras (>90%), whilst the pixel size is typically larger, impacting the sensitivity and practicalities of the SPAD devices. This paper presents the first characterisation of a cylindrical-shaped microlens array applied to a small, 8 micron, pixel SPAD imager. The enhanced fill factor, ≈50% for collimated light, is the highest reported value amongst SPAD sensors with comparable resolution and pixel pitch. We demonstrate the impact of the increased sensitivity in single-molecule localisation microscopy, obtaining a resolution of below 40nm, the best reported figure for a SPAD sensor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2280-2291
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Photon counting
  • Arrays
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Micro-optics
  • Avalanche photodiodes (APDs)
  • Micro-optical devices

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