Abstract

We demonstrate an approach to coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) spectroscopy/microscopy based on spectral compression of femtosecond pulses emitted by a compact Er-fiber oscillator. Spectral compression is achieved by group-velocity mismatched second-harmonic generation in periodically poled nonlinear crystals, and it allows efficient synthesis of synchronized narrow-bandwidth (less than 10cm1) pump and Stokes pulses with the frequency difference continuously tunable up to 3000cm1. CARS signal enhancement by up to 3 orders of magnitude is obtained by interferometric superposition with a phase-coherent local oscillator field, also synthesized by spectral compression.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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