Superresolved optical microscopy (or nanoscopy) can now be highly simplified with microchip lasers.
The development of a stimulated emission depletion (STED) selective plane illumination (SPIM) microscope has been recently reported by LiPHy (University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble). The system is based on a passively Q-switched microchip laser that simultaneously delivers sub nanosecond-pulses at two wavelengths. The two wavelengths, 355nm and 532nm are used to induce excitation and stimulated emission depletion.
Such a microchip-based architecture will be the basis for a low-cost, compact very efficient and simplified STED system.
A funded ANR program led by University Joseph Fourier and including Teem Photonics as a partner for the laser source development is currently bringing new improvements to this method.
More about this:
STED SPIM made simple, Sheul et al, Optics Express, vol22, issue 25 (2014):
ANR funded Nanoscolas program: