Multimodal Pump-Probe-Microscopy

Note: This microscope is still under construction, but we'd be happy to work with you on some preliminary test with your samples.


  • Versatile, multimodal nonlinear optical contrast: The pump-probe microscope can simultaneously and non-destructively measure structural, chemical, and even functional contrast. The enabling technology is the acquisition of pump-probe contrast, which can provide information on molecular population dynamics, vibrations, and even rotations via the acquisition of transient absorption, stimulated Raman scattering, and nonlinear phase contrast.
  • Demonstrated applications of pump-probe microscopy in biomedicine, materials science, and cultural heritage. For a recent review, please see
  • We are developing a compact and user-friendly microscope that combines pump-probe with more conventional nonlinear optical contrast (such as multiphoton fluorescence and harmonic generation).
Pump probe microscope and example images

Current specifications

  • Excitation: Multi-color excitation from a single broadband Ti:Saph laser (Coherent Vitara; color range 720 nm to 900 nm)
  • Detection: Simultaneous acquisition of transient absorption and multi-photon fluorescence.
  • Spatial resolution: Standard multiphoton resolution (about 500 nm x 500 nm x 1 ┬Ám, depending on optical configuration).

Sample preparation

  • Our PPM uses an upright stand and can measure transient absorption in transmission or backreflection (epi) mode. No special sample prep is required.

Data analysis, visualization, and storage

  • Data from the PPM is in the form of TIFF stacks. A TIFF stack is either a 3D imaging volume at a fixed inter-pulse delay or a stack of 2D images at a variable inter-pulse delay (at a fixed imaging depth).
  • Our workstation is available for simple analysis and visualization with commercial (Imaris, Amira) or open source packages (ImageJ, napari).
  • While we provide temporary storage space for processing and visualization, the long-term storage of the acquired data is the responsibility of the user. We will retain raw data for up to 3 months after acquisition or until we reach capacity of our 100 TB storage array (whichever occurs first).


  • PPM operation: $100.00 fixed setup fee (billed as 2 hr setup time) plus $50.00/hour experiment time. The setup fee is required for the start of each experiment run.
  • Consulting & Training services: $100.00/hour
  • Image analysis: $50.00/hour


  • ALIS staff will align, calibrate, and operate the PPM.
  • ALIS staff is available for microscope operation, but the user should be present for imaging guidance. Repeat users can be trained to operate the microscope by themselves.