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Alignment-free, all-spliced fiber laser source for CARS microscopy based on four-wave-mixing

: Baumgartl, Martin; Gottschall, Thomas; Abreu-Afonso, Javier; Díez, Antonio; Meyer, Tobias; Dietzek, Benjamin; Rothhardt, Manfred; Popp, Jürgen; Limpert, Jens; Tünnermann, Andreas

Postprint (1.5 MByte; PDF; )

Optics Express 20 (2012), Nr.19, S.21010-21018
ISSN: 1094-4087
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IOF ()

An environmentally-stable low-repetition rate fiber oscillator is developed to produce narrow-bandwidth pulses with several tens of picoseconds duration. Based on this oscillator an alignment-free all-fiber laser for multi-photon microscopy is realized using in-fiber frequency conversion based on four-wave-mixing. Both pump and Stokes pulses for coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are readily available from one fiber end, intrinsically overlapped in space and time, which drastically simplifies the experimental handling for the user. The complete laser setup is mounted on a home-built laser scanning microscope with small footprint. High-quality multimodal microscope images of biological tissue are presented probing the CH-stretching resonance of lipids at an anti-Stokes Raman-shift of 2845 cm-1 and second-harmonic generation of collagen. Due to its simplicity, compactness, maintenance-free operation, and ease-of-use the presented low-cost laser is an ideal source for bio-medical applications outside laser laboratories and in particular inside clinics.