Rapid polymer blend imaging with quantitative broadband multiplex CARS microscopy



Broadband multiplex coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (MCARS) microscopy allows the rapid chemical mapping and molecular imaging of untreated material samples with three-dimensional sectioning capabilities. It can be realized with a single laser in a simple and robust setup using supercontinuum generation in a microstructured fiber. The successful implementation of a MCARS microscope is discussed in detail, its parameters are characterized, and applications are shown for the identification and mapping of polymer blends. An evolutionary fitting routine is presented, which allows a fully quantitative analysis of the MCARS information resulting in high-contrast chemical maps. The established setup enables reliable day-to-day operation as a valuable tool for rapid material characterization. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.