It's true that single photon counting (SPC) systems offer the best overall performance in terms of signal-to-noise, dynamic range, statistical methodology and time resolution. One reason why SPC is not more widely used is because the associated electronics are perceived as being complex and user-unfriendly. There has been a push in recent years towards more user-friendly electronics, but unfortunately these developments have often been at the expense of data quality and system modularity.

Our new FluoroHub offers the best of both worlds - a fully integrated PC-based solution that doesn't compromise your data quality. Having pioneered high quality "out-of-the-box" light sources and detectors for SPC, we applied the same design philosophy to the DataStation FluoroHub, and the result is the most complete and easy to use SPC solution yet!

The FluoroHub is a semi-modular product that brings together the best technology from a number of major manufacturers to achieve the most dependable performance available, with full control under Windows software. The FluoroHub supports all three most commonly used SPC measurement modes:

  • Picosecond to millisecond TCSPC (time-correlated single-photon counting) for measuring fast fluorescence decays. This type of measurement is normally performed in conjunction with a high repetition rate excitation source such as a nanosecond flashlamp or a pulsed laser (or LED).
  • Microsecond to minutes MCS (multi-channel scaling) for measuring longer transients such as phosphorescence decays. This type of measurement is normally performed in conjunction with a low repetition rate excitation source such as a xenon flashlamp or nitrogen laser.
  • Gated single-photon counting for measuring absolute count rates (six channels in total). This is used during steady-state scans (e.g. using a pulsed or DC xenon lamp) and during system/sample set-up.

Software Control

Photon Counting - FluoroHub Software ControlAll FluoroHub settings, such as time range, delay, and peak preset are selected using a tree navigation control pane. Additional hardware (e.g. NanoLED, monochromators, polarisers etc) is controlled using different tabs on the same pane.
The measurement data is managed using intuitive tree navigation in the pane above.

What could be simpler?

Why "FluoroHub"?

We chose the word "FluoroHub" to emphasise that this new product offers more than simply timing electronics. As the diagram opposite shows, the FluoroHub forms the electronic core of our latest generation fluorescence lifetime systems.In addition to four expansion buses, the FluoroHub even includes coaxial delay lines, connections for detector power and laser interlock.Plug-in options include a NanoLED pulsed laser diode control board, and a six channel stepper motor drive board for monochromator and polariser control. These options are fully software controlled and are auto-detected by the DataStation software.

The HORIBA Jobin Yvon IBH FluoroHub... an easy decision

  • Measures picoseconds to seconds using up to 8k data channels
  • Based on proven technology from major manufacturers for unbeatable performance and reliability
  • Dedicated linear power supply - eliminates jitter and stability problems associated with PC power supply and earth
  • Plug-in NanoLED and SpectraLED options
  • Seamless integration with our Windows software
  • All instrument settings can be saved - ideal for sharing by multiple research groups

FluoroHub Options

There are currently four plug-in options for the FluoroHub:

  1. FluoroHub-NL
    A NanoLED controller card with software control of repetition rate, sync delay and trigger source.
  2. FluoroHub-SD
    A six channel stepper motor controller card with safety shutter support.
  3. FluoroHub-TE
    Time expander option for increased time resolution.
  4. SpectraLED
    LED accessories for phosphorescence and steady-state excitation.

More accessories are under development, so watch this space!

FluoroHub-NL: A plug-in NanoLED card with full software control

The NanoLED is a novel pulsed light source system that uses a variety of light emitting diode (LED) and laser diode (LD) devices to generate picosecond and nanosecond optical pulses over a wide spectral range. LED-based sources generate nanosecond pulses in the UV and visible, while LD-based sources generate picosecond or nanosecond pulses in the violet and red.

The FluroHub-NL NanoLED controller is interfaced to our FMAS software allowing NanoLED settings to be stored with the general instrument configuration. Parameters include repetition rate, synchronisation delay, and synchronisation mode (for selection of internal or external triggering).

When external triggering mode is selected, the repetition rate is controlled by an external signal presented to the synchronisation input. In both synchronisation modes, NIM and TTL-compatible synchronisation outputs are provided for connection to the acquisition electronics. These synchronisation outputs are delayed relative to the optical pulse as determined by the sync delay parameter allowing nanosecond decays to be measured in reversed TAC mode (to maximise the data collection rate). If necessary, the NanoLED operation can be linked to the sample chamber lid microswitches to inhibit emission when the lid is removed.

Note that the FluoroHub can drive LEDs directly to generate microsecond and millisecond excitation pulses suitable for phosphorescence measurements. For more information see FluoroHub-µs below.

FluoroHub-NL specification


FluoroHub-SD: Six channel stepper motor drive card

This is supplied as standard with our FluoroCube series systems to provide computer control of monochromators, polarisers and sample position.

FluoroHub-TE: Time expander option

The range of time-resolution (i.e. time-per-point) settings available using the FluoroHub is sufficient for the vast majority of applications. For applications requiring <7ps/point resolution, specify the FluoroHub-TE time expander option.

The FluoroHub-TE extends the resolution of the FluoroHub's TCSPC electronics to 0.7ps/point.

SpectraLED: Plug-in LEDs for phosphorescence steady-state excitation

The standard FluoroHub package includes pulse counting electronics to enable phosphorescence measurements in multi-channel scaling (MCS) mode. Lifetimes from a few microseconds to several minutes can be made in MCS mode in conjunction with a low repetition rate excitation source such as xenon flashlamps, or a nitrogen laser.

As a low cost alternative to the xenon flashlamp and Nitrogen laser, we now offer a range of pulsed LEDs that connect directly to the FluoroHub module's expansion port A. These inexpensive SpectraLED sources are ideal for lifetimes measurements from 100µs and are available at wavelengths from 370nm. The optical pulse duration can be programmed from within DataStation to obtain the optimum pulse duration for each sample. No additional electronics are required.

Manufactured by HORIBA Scientific