Femtosecond third-order sum frequency and four-wave mixing imaging

Evan Perillo, M. Lisa Phipps, Jennifer S. Martinez, Anatoly Efimov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Various contrast mechanisms in imaging applications in biological and material sciences are of great importance for multimodal sample visualization. Nonlinear-optical interactions in the sample provide multitude of possibilities to imaging with different contrasts, including sensitivity to chemically-specific vibrational signatures. Cubic order nonlinearity is present in all materials since it does not require broken inversion symmetry. Cubic non- linearity offers several useful interaction modalities, including vibrationally resonant ones, such as third-order sum-frequency generation (TSFG) and four-wave mixing (FWM), which we explore in this work using femtosecond lasers in a laser-scanning all-reflective microscope. We observe strong dependence of image contrast on delay between interacting pulses and the frequency of the mid-IR laser relative to the CH vibrational mode of the sample. Images of oil-water interfaces demonstrate striking visual contrast and impressive signal-to-noise ratio in our system. Pathways to expand TSFG and FWM imaging onto biological samples are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMultiscale Imaging and Spectroscopy
EditorsPaul J. Campagnola, Kristen C. Maitland, Darren M. Roblyer
ISBN (Electronic)9781510631953
StatePublished - 2020
EventMultiscale Imaging and Spectroscopy 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 1 2020Feb 2 2020

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMultiscale Imaging and Spectroscopy 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Four-wave mixing
  • Liquid interface
  • Nonlinear imaging
  • Third-order sum-frequency generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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