Numerical evaluation of temporal focusing characteristics in transparent and scattering media

Opt Express. 2011 Mar 14;19(6):4937-48. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.004937.


Temporal focusing is a simple approach for achieving tight, optically sectioned excitation in nonlinear microscopy and multiphoton photo-manipulation. Key applications and advantages of temporal focusing involve propagation through scattering media, but the progressive broadening of the temporal focus has not been characterized. By combining a detailed geometrical optics model with Monte-Carlo scattering simulations we introduce and validate a simulation strategy for predicting temporal focusing characteristics in scattering and non-scattering media. The broadening of the temporal focus width with increasing depth in brain tissue is studied using both simulations and experiments for several key optical geometries, and an analytical approximation is found for the dependence of this broadening on the microscope's parameters in a transparent medium. Our results indicate that a multiphoton temporal focus has radically different broadening characteristics in deep tissue than those of a spatial focus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescence
  • Light*
  • Models, Biological
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Scattering, Radiation*
  • Time Factors