Single-photon sensitive light-in-flight imaging

Genevieve Gariepy, Nikola Krstajić, Robert Henderson, Chunyong Li, Robert R Thomson, Gerald S Buller, Barmak Heshmat, Ramesh Raskar, Jonathan Leach, Daniele Faccio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    236 Citations (Scopus)
    116 Downloads (Pure)


    The ability to record images with extreme temporal resolution enables a diverse range of applications, such as fluorescence lifetime imaging, time-of-flight depth imaging and characterization of ultrafast processes. Recently, ultrafast imaging schemes have emerged, which require either long acquisition times or raster scanning and have a requirement for sufficient signal that can only be achieved when light is reflected off an object or diffused by a strongly scattering medium. Here we present a demonstration of the potential of single-photon detector arrays for visualization and rapid characterization of events evolving on picosecond time scales. The single-photon sensitivity, temporal resolution and full-field imaging capability enables the observation of light-in-flight in air, as well as the measurement of laser-induced plasma formation and dynamics in its natural environment. The extreme sensitivity and short acquisition times pave the way for real-time imaging of ultrafast processes or visualization and tracking of objects hidden from view.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6021
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalNature Communications
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2015


    • ultrafast optical imaging
    • CMOS SPADs
    • photon counting
    • TCSPC


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