Sensitivity enhancement of fiber-laser-based stimulated Raman scattering microscopy by collinear balanced detection technique.
ABSTRACT We propose the collinear balanced detection (CBD) technique for noise suppression in fiber laser (FL)-based stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy. This technique reduces the effect of laser intensity noise at a specific frequency by means of pulse splitting and recombination with a time delay difference. We experimentally confirm that CBD can suppress the intensity noise of second harmonic (SH) of Er-FL pulses by 13 dB.The measured noise level including the thermal noise is higher by only ~1.4 dB than the shot noise limit. To demonstrate SRS imaging, we use 4-ps SH pulses and 3-ps Yb-FL pulses, which are synchronized subharmonically with a jitter of 227 fs. The effectiveness of the CBD technique is confirmed through SRS imaging of a cultured HeLa cell.