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Alignment and maintenance free all-fiber laser source for CARS microscopy based on frequency conversion by four-wave-mixing

: Baumgartl, Martin; Chemnitz, Mario; Jauregui, Cesar; Meyer, Tobias; Dietzek, Benjamin; Popp, Jürgen; Limpert, Jens; Tünnermann, Andreas


Heisterkamp, Alexander (Ed.) ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XII : 21 - 26 January 2012, Moscone Center, San Francisco, California United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2012 (Proceedings of SPIE 8247)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-8890-9
Paper 82470F
Conference "Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics - Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications" <12, 2012, San Francisco/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IOF ()
CARS; fiber laser; four-wave mixing; fiber optical parametric frequency conversion; nonlinear microscopy

In this contribution we report on a novel approach for pump and stokes pulse generation in extremely compact all-fiber systems using parametric frequency conversion (four-wave-mixing) in photonic-crystal fibers. Representing a completely alignment-free approach, the all-fiber ytterbium-based short-pulse laser system provides intrinsically synchronized tunable two-color picosecond pulses emitted from a single fiber end. The system was designed to address important CH-stretch vibrational resonances. Strong CARS signals are generated and proved by spectroscopic experiments, tuning the laser over the resonance of toluene at 3050cm-1. Furthermore the whole laser setup with a footprint of only 30x30cm2 is mounted on a home-built laser-scanning-microscope and CARS imaging capabilities are verified. The compact turn-key system represents a significant advance for CARS microscopy to enter real-world, in particular bio-medical, applications.