Abstract

Two-dimensional distributions of the effective lifetime of the fluorescence emission induced by short-pulsed laser radiation are obtained from two-dimensional images recorded with a streak camera and a charge-coupled device by means of a separation algorithm method (SAM). In theory, the best response with respect to noise is obtained for lifetimes corresponding to a range of pixels of 5–50 in the CCD, that is, 5–50 ps at the fastest streak speed. In experiments the SAM is compared with pure time-resolved measurements, and it is used for two-dimensional lifetime evaluation. The laser-pulse duration is 25 ps, and the lower limit of the lifetime resolution as used in the experiments is estimated to be 200–250 ps. The results demonstrate the possibility of performing pattern recognition independently of the relative distribution of emission intensity between regions of different fluorescence lifetimes. The technique is demonstrated for static objects but can in principle be extended to nonstationary objects if two detectors are used.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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