Abstract

We deduce the signal-to-noise ratio for fluorescence lifetime imaging when using frequency-domain methods. We assume mono-exponential decay and quantum-noise-limited performance. The results are compared with Monte Carlo simulations with good agreement. We also compare our results with previous investigations of time-domain methods for fluorescence lifetime imaging. For a given number of detected photons, we find that frequency-domain and time-domain methods are equally good. The correct choice of detection technique and its parameters is important for obtaining good results.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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