14 March 2016 Compact fixed wavelength femtosecond oscillators as an add-on for tunable Ti:sapphire lasers extend the range of applications towards multimodal imaging and optogenetics
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Abstract
Two-photon (2P) microscopy based on tunable Ti:sapphire lasers has become a widespread tool for 3D imaging with sub-cellular resolution in living tissues. In recent years multi-photon microscopy with simpler fixed-wavelength femtosecond oscillators using Yb-doped tungstenates as gain material has raised increasing interest in life-sciences, because these lasers offer one order of magnitude more average power than Ti:sapphire lasers in the wavelength range around 1040 nm: Two-photon (2P) excitation of mainly red or yellow fluorescent dyes and proteins (e.g. YFP, mFruit series) simultaneously has been proven with a single IR laser wavelength. A new approach is to extend the usability of existing tunable Titanium sapphire lasers by adding a fixed IR wavelength with an Yb femtosecond oscillator. By that means a multitude of applications for multimodal imaging and optogenetics can be supported. Furthermore fs Yb-lasers are available with a repetition rate of typically 10 MHz and an average power of typically 5 W resulting in pulse energy of typically 500 nJ, which is comparably high for fs-oscillators. This makes them an ideal tool for two-photon spinning disk laser scanning microscopy and holographic patterning for simultaneous photoactivation of large cell populations.

With this work we demonstrate that economical, small-footprint Yb fixed-wavelength lasers can present an interesting add-on to tunable lasers that are commonly used in multiphoton microscopy. The Yb fs-lasers hereby offer higher power for imaging of red fluorescent dyes and proteins, are ideally enhancing existing Ti:sapphire lasers with more power in the IR, and are supporting pulse energy and power hungry applications such as spinning disk microscopy and holographic patterning.
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T. Hakulinen, T. Hakulinen, J. Klein, J. Klein, } "Compact fixed wavelength femtosecond oscillators as an add-on for tunable Ti:sapphire lasers extend the range of applications towards multimodal imaging and optogenetics", Proc. SPIE 9712, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVI, 97121H (14 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2212150; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212150
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