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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2010 Nov 1;27(11):2365-74. doi: 10.1364/JOSAA.27.002365.

Multiplicative and subtractive focal volume engineering in coherent Raman microscopy.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Beckman Laser Institute, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


Rigorous calculations are performed to study the effective reduction of the nonlinear excitation volumes when using phase-only masks to condition the pump and Stokes driving fields. Focal volume reduction was achieved using both a multiplicative operation of the excitation fields as well as a subtractive operation. Using a tunable optical bottle beam for the Stokes field, an effective reduction of the width of the excitation volume by a factor of 1.5 can be achieved in the focal plane. Further reduction of the focal volume introduces a rapid growth of sidelobes, which renders such volumes unsuitable for imaging applications. In addition, phase sensitive detection was found to provide information from selective sub-divisions of the engineered coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering excitation volume. In the case of isolated nanoparticles, an apparent resolution improvement by a factor of 3 is demonstrated, and it is shown that the size of sub-diffraction-limited particles can be accurately determined using phase sensitive detection.

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