Time-resolved cathodoluminescence (CL) experiments record how the CL signal varies with time; the signal may be from any of the modes of operation but is more typically restricted to the wavelength-filtered intensity or wavelength-spectrum.

The term time-resolved covers a very broad range of time domains extending from several minutes or hours, such as in experiments that monitor the impact of electron beam exposure on the sample, to picoseconds where the dynamics of excitons and free carriers in semiconductors are analyzed.