Gated Photon Counter

  • 4 Channels / 4 Gates / Flexible Trigger
  • Time / Bin 4 ns to 16,384 ns
  • 800 MHz Saturated Count Rate for Each Channel
  • Dead Time 1.25 ns
  • Min. Gate Width 1 ns
  • Sustained Bin Transfer Rate 160 MHz
  • Free Instrument Software for Windows 10 / 11
  • Custom Programming with bhPy


The PMS-800 module is the direct successor of the PMS-400A. As a gated photon counter and multiscaler it can be used in luminescence decay of inorganic samples, phosphorescence, delayed fluorescence, chemo luminescence and LIDAR applications. It contains all features of the PMS-400A with a significantly improved time bin width of down to 4 ns, reduced dead-time of 1.25 ns and two additional input channels in a single module. Furthermore, in event threshold mode, events can be streamed indefinitely and are not limited to the internal memory of the module.
Incoming pulses are counted in time bins and, if desired, can be filtered with a gate input associated to each channel. The timing data can be processed in 3 different modes inside the module: multiscaler, triggered accumulation and event threshold mode.
In multiscaler mode, the module records pulses in a single time sweep across up to 64k bins. The measurement can be started by software or upon the occurrence of an external trigger signal.
In triggered accumulation mode, sweeps are repeated at high rate, each started by an incoming trigger signal. This mode allows for fast Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) with photon rates of up to 800 MHz per channel and trigger rates of up to 50 MHz.
In the event threshold mode, incoming pulses can be streamed for a virtually infinite amount of time. To filter background noise, a threshold can be applied to the count in each time bin and only bins with higher counts will be registered.

Measurement Software Included

The module can be integrated into a customized measurement software by means of a supplied DLL and associated Python libraries, which allow for quick prototyping.

We also supply a free measurement GUI with the module, the BH-PMS800 software, to execute the basic functionality, display various types of measurement results and process data into various commonly used file formats.


Input Channels

Counter Channels


Frequency Range

0 to 800 MHz

Dead Time

1.25 ns

Gate Channels

4 (1 Trigger Optional)


Threshold Discriminator

Discriminator Input Bandwidth

4 GHz

Maximum Pulsed (<1 ms) Input Voltage Range

-5.5 V to +5.5 V

Maximum DC Input Voltage Range

-3.3 V to +3.3 V

Min. Input Pulse Width

0.625 ns

Min. Gate Width

1 ns

Min. Trigger Pulse Width

1 ns

Discriminator Threshold (All Inputs)

-500 to 500 mV in Steps of 4 mV

Input Connectors

SMC, 50 Ohm

Time-Measurement Circuitry


Time-to-Digital Converter


4 ns

Time Range

4 ms (Software Limited)

Data Acquisition

Max. Count Rate

800 MHz / Channel

Online Display

Hardware Multiscaler, Triggered Accumulation, Multiscaler Stream

Hardware Multiscaler

No. of Time Bins

64 to 65,536

Time / Bin

4 ns to 16,384 ns

Max. Counts / Bin


Time Range

256 ns to 1.07 s

Sustained Count Rate

800 MHz / Channel

Triggered Accumulation

No. of Time Bins

64 to 4,096

Time / Bin

4 ns to 16,384 ns

Max. Counts / Bin


Time Range

256 ns to 67.1 ms

Sustained Count Rate

800 MHz / Channel

Max. Trigger Rate

50 MHz

Multiscaler Stream

Max. No. of Time Bins


Time / Bin

4 ns to 128 ns

Max. Counts / Bin


Count Threshold

1 to 127 Counts

On-Board FIFO Buffer Capacity

3,500,000 Bins

Sustained Bin Transfer Rate

160 MHz (All Channels Combined)

Operating Environment

Operating System

Windows 10, Windows 11

Bus Connector (Slot Type)


Total Power Consumption

approx. 12 W from +3.3 V, 3 W from +12 V


165 mm x 110 mm x 20 mm



The bh TCSPC Handbook
10th edition, September 2023


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