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
(000.5490) General : Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics
(170.1790) Medical optics and biotechnology : Confocal microscopy
(170.2520) Medical optics and biotechnology : Fluorescence microscopy
(170.3650) Medical optics and biotechnology : Lifetime-based sensing
(270.5290) Quantum optics : Photon statistics
Johan Philip and Kjell Carlsson, "Theoretical investigation of the signal-to-noise ratio in fluorescence lifetime imaging," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 368-379 (2003)