A Cr:LiSrAlFl laser, pumped with a diffraction-limited laser diode and mode locked with a saturable Bragg reflector, produces 90-fs pulses at 860 nm with a cw power as high as 88 mW in two beams. It is shown that this recently developed, compact, solid-state laser can be used as an excitation source for two-photon laser scanning microscopy. Morphological and functional images of neocortical and cerebellar neurons were obtained with submicrometer three-dimensional resolution. Single dendritic spines could easily be resolved deep in scattering tissue.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 1, 1996
Published: September 1, 1996
K. Svoboda, W. H. Knox, S. Tsuda, and W. Denk, "Two-photon-excitation scanning microscopy of living neurons with a saturable Bragg reflector mode-locked diode-pumped Cr:LiSrAlFl laser," Opt. Lett. 21, 1411-1413 (1996)