Abstract

This work describes in detail a wide-field surface-enhanced coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscope, which enables enhanced detection of sample structures in close proximity (100  nm) of the substrate interface. Unlike conventional CARS microscopy, where the sample is illuminated with freely propagating light, the current implementation uses evanescent fields to drive Raman coherences across the entire object plane. By coupling the pump and Stokes excitation beams to the surface plasmon–polariton mode at the interface of a 30 nm thick gold film, we obtained strong CARS signals from cholesteryl oleate droplets adhered to the surface. The surface-enhanced CARS imaging system visualizes lipid structures with vibrational selectivity using illumination doses per unit area that are more than four orders of magnitude lower than in point-scanning CARS microscopy.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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