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ST391 - Singlet Oxygen Luminescence Detection with a Superconducting Nanowire Single-photon Detector

Singlet Oxygen Luminescence Detection with a Superconducting Nanowire 
Single-photon Detector
 Nathan R. Gemmell1, Aongus McCarthy1, Baochang Liu2, Michael G. Tanner3,
Sander N. Dorenbos4, Val Zwiller4, Michael S. Patterson2,
Gerald S. Buller1, Brian C. Wilson5, Robert H. Hadfield3
IPaQS, School of EPS, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom,
2 Juravinski Cancer Centre and McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada,
3 School of Engineering University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom,
4 Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology,
Delft, The Netherlands,
5 Department of Medical Biophysics, Ontario Cancer Institute
& University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Abstract — Superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SSPDs/SNSPDs) are a highly promising infrared single photon detection technology, with free running operation, low dark counts and high timing resolution. We have applied SNSPDs to a new application in the life sciences and medicine, namely the direct monitoring of singlet oxygen luminescence at 1270 nm wavelength. Singlet oxygen is an excited state of the oxygen molecule, a crucial intermediate in many biological processes. We recorded luminescence from a photosensitizer solution using a fiber-coupled SNSPD optimized for 1270 nm wavelength installed in a practical closed-cycle refrigerator. Narrow band spectral filtering and chemical quenching was used to verify the singlet oxygen signal, and lifetime evolution with the addition of protein was studied. Furthermore, we demonstrated the detection of single oxygen luminescence through a single optical fiber, a marked advance for dose monitoring in clinical treatments such as photodynamic cancer therapy.
IEEE/CSC & ESAS SUPERCONDUCTIVITY NEWS FORUM (global edition), October 2014.
Reference No. ST391; Category 4. ASC 2014 presentation and extended abstract 1EOr1B-05;
3rd Prize in Best Student Paper Contest, Electronics. Not submitted to IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond..