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Opt Lett. 2006 Mar 15;31(6):829-31.

Fast, flexible algorithm for calculating photon correlations.

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  • 1Physical Biosciences Institute, Chemistry and Materials Science Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.


We introduce a new algorithm for computing correlations of photon arrival time data acquired in single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). The algorithm is based on rewriting the correlation as a counting operation on photon pairs and can be used with arbitrary bin widths and spacing. The flexibility of the algorithm is demonstrated by use of FCS simulations and single-molecule photon antibunching experiments. Execution speed is comparable to the commonly used multiple-tau correlation technique. Wide bin spacings are possible that allow for real-time software calculation of correlations, even for high count rates.

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