Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) has recently become useful for chemically selective bioimaging. It is usually measured via modulation transfer from the pump beam to the Stokes beam. Impulsive stimulated Raman spectroscopy, on the other hand, relies on the spectral shift of ultrashort pulses as they propagate in a Raman active sample. This method was considered impractical with low energy pulses since the observed shifts are very small compared to the excitation pulse bandwidth, spanning many terahertz. Here we present a new apparatus, using tools borrowed from the field of precision measurement, for the detection of low-frequency Raman lines via stimulated-Raman-scattering-induced spectral shifts. This method does not require any spectral filtration and is therefore an excellent candidate to resolve low-lying Raman lines (<200 cm−1), which are commonly masked by the strong Rayleigh scattering peak. Having the advantage of the high repetition rate of the ultrafast oscillator, we reduce the noise level by implementing a lock-in detection scheme with a wavelength shift sensitivity well below 100 fm. This is demonstrated by the measurement of low-frequency Raman lines of various liquid samples.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics