The performance of a dispersion-compensated acousto-optic deflector (AOD) for steering femtosecond laser pulses was examined with the prism located before or after the AOD, which is regarded as prism-AOD and AOD-prism, respectively. Comparisons are made over parameters including the spot spatial pattern, output pulse width, scanning linearity, the field of view, and the transmission rate. Fluorescence images of diameter beads and cells were measured to provide an overall evaluation for these femtosecond laser beam scanning configurations. On the basis of these experiments, the prism-AOD configuration is concluded to be more advantageous for the purpose of simultaneous compensation for the spatial and temporal dispersion.
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