Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy is the technique that maps the spatial distribution of lifetimes within microscopic images. The fluorescence lifetime is the signature exponential decay in emission after the excitation of a fluorescent material.
FLIM can be used to provide information about the environment surrounding a fluorophore. Quantitative information on local conditions such as ion concentration profiles, temperature gradients, pH gradients and solvation effects can be obtained. These data can then be applied to the fundamental understanding of a variety of processes.