May 4, 2015

The Random Raman Laser: A New Light Source for the Microcosmos

Texas A&M University researchers demonstrate how a narrow-band strobe light source for speckle-free imaging has the potential to reveal microscopic forms of life

(May 4, 2015)  In modern microscope imaging techniques, lasers are used as light sources because they can deliver fast pulsed and extremely high-intensity radiation to a target, allowing for rapid image acquisition. However, traditional lasers come with a significant disadvantage in that they produce images with blurred speckle patterns — a visual artifact that arises because of a property of traditional lasers called "high spatial coherence." These speckles greatly reduce image quality in wide-field microscopy, a common technique for making broad swath images of the whole side of a cell or some other part of the microscopic world in order to understand its intricate inner workings.

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