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Nonlinear Optical Microscopy and Spectroscopy Studies of Biological Molecules


Coherent nonlinear optical microscopy is a rapidly developing field that is widely applicable to the study of biological molecules and systems. These techniques have the inherent advantages of high speed and resolution, three-dimensional focusing, minimal sample damage, and label free chemical selectivity. In this thesis, applications of different vibrationally resonant nonlinear techniques to studying the optical and chemical properties of biological molecules are explored. The noncentrosymmetry sensitive vibrationally-resonant sum frequency generation microscopy is used in a polarization sensitive study of collagen second order nonlinear susceptibility tensor terms. Transient absorption spectroscopy is used to explore the excited state dynamics of of Sepia melanin. Additionally, position dependent phase shifts and changes in spectra in stimulated Raman microscopy are calculated. Optical design of achromatic lenses for implementation in sum frequency generation microscopy is also included.

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