This paper reports on a photodiode bridge interface circuit able to perform differential measurements of the energy variations of 10ns laser pulses obtained by differentially detecting the photocurrents generated by a reference and a signal photodiode. A complete characterization of the interface circuit is reported by varying its gain and the energy-per-pulse difference between the signal and the reference laser pulses at a 20Hz operating frequency (i.e., the laser repetition rate). Under these conditions, a maximum detection sensitivity of about 7mV/fJ has been achieved. The functionality of the interface circuit has been tested by detecting the Rhodamine-6G photoluminescence emission after pumping the sample with 10ns laser pulses at a 20Hz repetition rate. In particular, the Rhodamine-6G was diluted in ethanol and the interface circuit has been used to measure the photoluminescence emission as a function of the variations of its molar concentration. The experimental findings demonstrate the possibility to achieve interface circuit sensitivities up to 1225mV/μM corresponding to a minimum detection resolution of 0.8pM with a measured RMS output noise level of about 1μV. It is also reported that these results enhance of more than 3 orders of magnitude the sensitivity achieved by using a standard/commercial lock-in amplifier in a differential measurement configuration.
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