The expanding spectrum of applications of single-molecule fluorescence imaging ranges from fundamental in vitro studies of biomolecular activity to tracking of receptors in live cells. The success of these assays has relied on progress in organic and non-organic fluorescent probe developments as well as improvements in the sensitivity of light detectors. We describe a new type of detector developed with the specific goal of ultra-sensitive single-molecule imaging. It is a wide-field, photon-counting detector providing high temporal and high spatial resolution information for each incoming photon. It can be used as a standard low-light level camera, but also allows access to a lot more information, such as fluorescence lifetime and spatio-temporal correlations. We illustrate the single-molecule imaging performance of our current prototype using quantum dots and discuss on-going and future developments of this detector.
Keywords: Single-molecule, quantum dot, fluorescence lifetime, photon-counting, wide-field detector, particle tracking, phasor analysis, TCSPC, FCS
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