Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy is becoming a more common tool in biomedical research. High-speed CARS microscopy has important applications in live cell imaging and in label-free pathology. However, only a few realizations exist of CARS imaging applied in the few terahertz spectral range (<300 cm−1), in which much is unknown to date. Although single-beam CARS microscopy proved to be robust in this low-frequency region, pixel-dwell time using presently available schemes is still relatively long, in the millisecond scale. Single-beam notch-shaped chirped-CARS (C-CARS) microscopy in the fingerprint region can be performed without using lock-in detection, yet it necessitates double-notch shaping, resulting in a relatively complex system. Here, we demonstrate that C-CARS in the low-frequency regime can be achieved using a sharp-edge, which is created by an ultra-steep long-pass filter (ULPF). Furthermore, we demonstrate that this variant of C-CARS spectroscopy can be performed without post-processing analyses. This is used to image collagen in a biological sample with a pixel dwell time of 200 microseconds. This sharp-edge C-CARS method may find important application in rapid low-frequency CARS imaging of live cells or for imaging of fast flowing objects such as in microfluidic channels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics