Picosecond time-resolved cathodoluminescence microscope

The Chronos is a variable temperature time-resolved nanometer resolution spectroscopy instrument that builds on the Allalin quantitative CL system. In continuous operation mode, the Chronos works like the Allalin system using the same high current density Schottky field emission gun.

In time-resolved mode, the same gun is driven by an ultrafast laser to create short electron pulses. Attolight’s highly efficient quantitative CL collection system is a crucial component of the Chronos since excitation currents in pulsed mode are up to thousand times less intense than in continuous mode.


Careful synchronization of the excitation laser and the detectors makes time-resolved CL in the picosecond regime a reality. Switching between pulsed and continuous mode is automated and takes a couple of minutes, which makes the system a perfect fit for a multiuser facility where users have multiple demands and throughput is important.

The Chronos is built for researchers who need to access dynamic spectroscopic information with nanometer spatial and picosecond temporal resolutions.

The Chronos features a comprehensive set of ultrafast detectors to cover the UV to IR wavelength range and to optimize performance for your applications. The Chronos’ versatile design also makes it capable of performing advanced methods such as pump/probe spectroscopy and dynamic SEM.

Key benefits

  • Automated switching between continuous and time-resolved mode within minutes

  • No degradation of spatial resolution when switching from continuous to pulsed mode

  • Same dedicated graphical user interface and control software as the Allalin, featuring time-resolved detectors

  • Extension to include advanced characterization techniques such as pump / probe spectroscopies or dynamic SEM

  • Large choice of detectors and detector technologies to cover the wavelength range from 200nm (UV) to 1700nm (IR)

  • Scripting functionality to automate measurements and configure the system for specific needs

  • Highest collection efficiency CL system adapted to low excitations currents in pulsed mode

  • Ultrastable helium cryostat system to work at temperatures from 10K to room temperature

  • Refer to the Allalin product description for additional benefits

System Cofigurations

Schematic setup of a Chronos system showing the main components.

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