Abstract

We report an approach to coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy that significantly suppresses the nonresonant background for high-contrast vibrational imaging. We employ an elliptically polarized pump field with an aspect ratio of 1:3 of the ellipse combined with a linearly polarized Stokes field for elliptically polarized CARS (EP-CARS) microscopy. The EP-CARS technique yields a 6–7-fold improvement in signal-to-background ratios compared with normal CARS, while providing an approximately 1.25-fold improvement in resonant CARS signal compared with normal polarization-sensitive CARS microscopy. We demonstrate this technique by imaging 1.5μm polystyrene beads in water and lipid droplets in unstained fibroblast cells.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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