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Opt Lett. 2008 Jan 15;33(2):113-5.

Stimulated emission depletion microscopy with a supercontinuum source and fluorescence lifetime imaging.

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Physics Department, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BW, UK.


We demonstrate stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy implemented in a laser scanning confocal microscope using excitation light derived from supercontinuum generation in a microstructured optical fiber. Images with resolution improvement beyond the far-field diffraction limit in both the lateral and axial directions were acquired by scanning overlapped excitation and depletion beams in two dimensions using the flying spot scanner of a commercially available laser scanning confocal microscope. The spatial properties of the depletion beam were controlled holographically using a programmable spatial light modulator, which can rapidly change between different STED imaging modes and also compensate for aberrations in the optical path. STED fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy is demonstrated through the use of time-correlated single photon counting.


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