Abstract

We demonstrate coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) heterodyne spectral interferometry for retrieval of the real and imaginary components of the third-order nonlinear susceptibility (χ3) of molecular vibrations. Extraction of the imaginary component of χ3 allows a straightforward reconstruction of the vibrationally resonant signal that is completely free of the electronic nonresonant background and resembles the spontaneous Raman spectrum. Heterodyne detection offers potential for signal amplification and enhanced sensitivity for CARS microscopy.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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