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Published May 5, 2023 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Single‐Shot Reconfigurable Femtosecond Imaging of Ultrafast Optical Dynamics

  • 1. ROR icon California Institute of Technology


Understanding ultrafast dynamics in the femtosecond timescale plays a pivotal role in fundamental research and technology innovation. Spatiotemporal observation of those events in real-time requires imaging speeds greater than 10¹² frames per second (fps), far beyond the fundamental speed limits of the ubiquitous semiconductor sensor technologies. In addition, a majority of femtosecond events are non-repeatable or difficult-to-repeat since they either work in a highly unstable nonlinear regime or require extreme or rare conditions to initiate. Therefore, the traditional pump-probe imaging approach fails since it heavily depends on precise event repetition. Single-shot ultrafast imaging emerges as the only solution; however, existing techniques cannot reach more than 15×10¹² fps, and they only record an insufficient number of frames. Compressed ultrafast spectral photography (CUSP) is proposed to overcome these limitations. Here, CUSP's full design space is explored by manipulating the ultrashort optical pulse in the active illumination. Via parameter optimization, an extraordinarily fast frame rate of 219 × 10¹² fps is achieved. This implementation of CUSP is also highly flexible, allowing various combinations of imaging speeds and numbers of frames (several hundred up to 1000) to be readily deployed in diverse scientific studies, such as laser-induced transient birefringence, self-focusing, and filaments in dielectric media.

Additional Information

© 2023 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants R35 CA220436 (Outstanding Investigator Award) and R01 EB028277. Author Contributions. P.W. conceived the system design, built the system, performed the experiments, developed the reconstruction algorithm, analyzed the data, and wrote the manuscript. L.V.W. supervised the project. All authors revised the manuscript. Data Availability Statement. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Conflict of Interest. The authors disclose the following patent applications: WO2016085571 A3 (L.V.W.), U.S. Provisional 62/298,552 (L.V.W.), and U.S. Provisional 62/904,442 (L.V.W. and P.W.).

Attached Files

Published - ADVS-10-2207222.pdf

Supplemental Material - advs5328-sup-0001-suppmat.pdf

Supplemental Material - advs5328-sup-0002-movies1.mov

Supplemental Material - advs5328-sup-0003-movies2.mov

Supplemental Material - advs5328-sup-0004-movies3.mov


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August 22, 2023
January 18, 2024