Abstract

We present a two-photon fluorescence microscope based on a three-port single-mode optical fiber coupler. It is found that the coupler behaves as a low-pass filter that can deliver an ultrashort-pulsed laser beam of as much as 150 mW of power in the wavelength range from 770 to 870 nm as well as collect a two-photon fluorescence signal in the visible range. As a result of using the fiber coupler, the new two-photon imaging system exhibts a number of advantages, including a compact arrangement, freedom from vibration from lasers and electronic devices, self-alignment, reduction of multiple scattering, and an enhanced optical sectioning effect. The effectiveness of the new instrument is demonstrated with a set of three-dimensional images of biological samples. This instrument may make two-photon fluorescence endoscopy possible for in vivo medical applications.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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