Abstract

Single-beam coherent anti-Stokes Raman-scattering (CARS) microspectroscopy achieves a complete CARS scheme with a femtosecond laser. Here, we introduce heterodyne detection in a simple experimental extension: the optical fields driving the CARS process and the local oscillator used for heterodyning are derived from a single beam of ultrashort laser pulses by pulse shaping. The heterodyne signal is amplified by more than 3 orders of magnitude and is linearly dependent on the concentration of Raman scatterers. This dramatically increases the sensitivity of chemically selective detection at microscopic resolution while maintaining the simplicity of the single-beam setup.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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