We demonstrate a multi-color background-free coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) imaging system, using a low-cost, all-fiber, energetic, multi-wavelength time-lens source. The time-lens source generates picosecond pulse trains at three different wavelengths. The first is 1064.3 nm, the second is tunable between 1052 nm and 1055 nm, and the third is tunable between 1040 nm and 1050 nm. When the time-lens source is synchronized with a mode-locked Ti:Sa laser, two of the three wavelengths are used to detect different Raman frequencies for two-color on-resonance imaging, whereas the third wavelength is used to obtain the off-resonance image for nonresonant background subtraction. Mixed poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and polystyrene (PS) beads are used to demonstrate two-color background-free CARS imaging. Synchronization of the multi-wavelength time-lens source with a microscope enables pixel-to-pixel wavelength-switching. Simultaneous two-color CARS imaging of CH2 and CH3 stretching vibration modes with realtime background subtraction is demonstrated in ex vivo mouse tissue.
Yifan Qin, Bo Li, Fei Xia, Yuanqin Xia, and Chris Xu, "Time-lens based multi-color background-free coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy," Proc. SPIE 10890, Label-free Biomedical Imaging and Sensing (LBIS) 2019, 108901U (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 05, 2019; Published: 4 March 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2507990.
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