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Subdiffraction-limited second harmonic photoacoustic microscopy based on nonlinear thermal diffusion

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Abstract

We have developed a second harmonic photoacoustic microscopy (SH-PAM) for subdiffraction-limited imaging based on nonlinear thermal diffusion. When a sine-modulated Gaussian temperature field is introduced by a laser beam, the temperature dependence of the thermal diffusivity induces a nonlinear photoacoustic (PA) effect and thus results in the production of second harmonic PA signals. We demonstrate through both simulation and experiment that the second harmonic PA images can be reconstructed with a lateral resolution exceeding that of conventional optical resolution PA microscopy. The feasibility of SH-PAM was verified on phantom samples. Amphioxus zygotes and germinated pollens have been studied by SH-PAM to demonstrate its biomedical imaging capability. This method expands the scope of conventional PA imaging and opens up new possibilities for super-resolution imaging, prefiguring great potential for biological imaging and material inspection.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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