Simultaneous multi-spectral, single-photon fluorescence imaging using a plasmonic colour filter array

Peter W. R. Connolly, Jessica Valli, Yash D. Shah, Yoann Altmann, James Grant, Claudio Accarino, Colin Rickman, David R. S. Cumming, Gerald S. Buller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


We present the first realisation of simultaneous multi-spectral fluorescence imaging using a single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) array, where the spectral unmixing is facilitated by a plasmonic metasurface mosaic colour filter array (CFA). A 64 × 64 pixel format silicon SPAD array is used to record widefield fluorescence and brightfield data from four biological samples. A plasmonic metasurface composed of an arrangement of circular and elliptical nanoholes etched into an aluminium thin film deposited on a glass substrate provides the high transmission efficiency CFA, enabling a bespoke spectral unmixing algorithm to reconstruct high fidelity, full colour images from as few as ~3 photons per pixel. This approach points the way toward real-time, single-photon sensitive multi-spectral fluorescence imaging. Furthermore, this is possible without additional bulky components such as a filter wheel, prism or diffraction grating, nor the need for multiple sample exposures or multiple detectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202000505
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number7
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • CFA
  • FLIM
  • SPAD
  • colour filter array
  • fluorescence
  • image processing
  • imaging
  • metasurface
  • microscopy
  • plasmonic
  • single-photon avalanche diode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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