CARS & SRS with picoEmerald

CARS & SRS with picoEmerald

Stimulated Raman Scattering & Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering

More general information about the tuneable picosecond laser picoEmerald can be found here.

Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS)

Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) microscopy for non-invasive label-free imaging is facilitated via the picoEmerald system. SRS microscopy provides almost background-free imaging contrast. It allows simple spectroscopic identification of the samples’ fingerprint region based on Raman spectra databases. Switching over to SRS microscopy is relatively straightforward for researchers who already have CARS experience.

Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS)

CARS Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (as well as Stimulated Raman Scattering) create high imaging contrast without labeling. The technology involves two laser beams. CARS is sensitive to the vibrational modes of samples and visualizes the vibrational contrast of molecules. The samples, even living objects, remain almost unaffected.

SRS Microscopy and CARS Spectroscopy with a Tunable ps Two-Color Laser

CARS & SRS in a Single-box

SRS Stimulated Raman Scattering microscopy and CARS Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy have migrated from physics labs to life-science labs, so APE has responded with an easy-to-use and truly hands-off SRS and CARS light source: picoEmerald. In a single-box, picoEmerald provides fully automated temporal- and spatial-overlapping ultra-short pulse trains: 1032 nm from the laser oscillator, plus the OPO Signal beam, and OPO Idler beam.

Turning Complexity into a Turn-Key System

The light source is the most crucial and complex component of a SRS or CARS microscopy system. Proper setup and calibration are essential for  accurate and reproducible imaging. picoEmerald is a turn-key system combining user-friendly automation features and the utility of open-architecture light sources in a single box.


  • Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy (SRS)
  • Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS)
  • SRS Microscopy of Vibrational Probes
  • Second Harmonics Imaging (SHG)
  • Pump-Probe Spectroscopy
  • Surface Enhanced Hyper Raman Spectroscopy (SEHRS)

Setup and Use with Microscopes

picoEmerald is compatible with nearly all popular confocal microscope systems. The current publication list names at least those configurations:

  • Home-built setups
  • Leica SP-Series
  • Olympus FV-Series
  • Nikon Ti-U Platform
  • Thorlabs Multiphoton
  • Zeiss LSM-Series
  • Horiba

By integrating SRS and CARS technology into Leica’s confocal SP5/SP8 microscopy system, Leica Microsystems has tightly integrated the picoEmerald into their LAS AF system software. Similary tight software integration is also available with Thorlabs’ multi-photon microscopes. Software integration into other third-party microscopes or home-built setups is also supported. Ethernet TCP/IP and serial RS232 interfaces are available with picoEmerald for this purpose. APE’s user-friendly automation combined with a graphical user interface (GUI) also makes it convenient when using picoEmerald and microscope as independent instruments, without the need for software integration.

Introduction to Stimulated Raman

Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) is based on the effect that excited molecules emit spontaneous Raman scattering, SRS is a further development of CARS. In the event of two different laser beams with a frequency difference which matches the vibrational frequency, the Raman signal will be amplified. So this process is not spontaneously anymore, it is stimulated.

This technique requires two laser beams. A Pump and a Stokes beam. One of these beams must be tuneable in order to meet the difference of the frequencies, so that the molecules can be excited into the virtual state and to bring it to the vibrational state. As at CARS, the molecules are only excited if the frequency coincides with the vibrational resonance.

The tuneable Pump beam gets a loss in intensity after excitation of the molecules (stimulated Raman loss – SRL). On the opposite, the intensity of the non-tuneable Stokes beam increases (stimulated Raman gain – SRG).

The different intensities between input Pump beam and output Pump beam are very low. So low, that the true measurement signal is lost in the noise. To measure this difference, the lock-in technique is used. For this the Stokes beam is modulated to a fixed frequency by an Electro-Optical Modulator (EOM). APE has integrated such EOM into picoEmerald.

Unlike CARS, SRS provides results with no non-resonant background. The assignments of CARS spectra are more complicated and thus the interpretation is more susceptible to errors. SRS is based on spontaneously Raman scattering and so the obtained SRS spectra are almost identical with spectra of spontaneously Raman scattering. Furthermore, SRS signal is directly linearly dependent to the concentration.

Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)

Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS)


Additional Features

picoEmerald Specification 
Main Parameters
Type of SourceAutomated picosecond (narrow-band) tunable light source
Wavelength 1 1032 nm Beam1032 +- 1.5 nm
Wavelength 2 OPO Signal700 ... 990 nm
Wavelength 3 OPO Idler1080 ... 1950 nm
Power 1 1032 nm Beam> 700 mW (customized versions on request)
Power 2 OPO Signal> 700 mW at 800 nm
Power 3 OPO Idler> 400 mW at 1250 nm
dn OPO Signal - OPO Idler800 ... 9000 cm-1
dn OPO Signal - Fundamental400 ... 4500 cm-1
Pulse Width2 ps (others on request)
Repetition Rate80 MHz
Spectral Bandwidth Signal, 1032 nm beam10 cm-1
Beam DiagnosticsIntegrated for Signal Wavelength, Power, Bandwidth, Beam position, Temporal overlap
Pointing Stability< 100 µrad per 100 nm
M2< 1.2 (OPO Signal), typ. 1.2 (1032 nm beam)
Ellipticity< 10 %
PolarizationLinear; Horizontal > 100:1
Beam Divergence1.0 (+- 0.2) mrad (at 800 and 1032 nm)
Beam Waist Diameter1.2 (+- 0.2) mm at 800 nm; 1.7 (+- 0.2) mm at 1032 nm
Software and AutomationIncluded
Wavelength Sweep FunctionStart/End Function, User-defined Holding Time, Trigger Function, max. 2 nm step size,
approx. 5 s per wavelength step
Remote ControlPossible via USB / Ethernet TCP/IP / Serial RS232
SRS Modulator EOM (Optional)EOM with a resonant fixed frequency of 10 MHz (or 20 MHz) modulation frequency;
Built into picoEmerald
  • Stimulated Raman Scattering + Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy with one device
  • Automated optical delay management to compensation for microscope dispersion
  • Wavelength scan / sweep function for fast spectra acquisition
  • Independent power control for 1032 nm beam and Signal beam
  • Remote-service via LAN interface
  • Optional: Wavelength extension from 210 nm – 10 μm
    (Realized by SHG, THG, FHG, or DFG; e.g. APE’s HarmoniXX)

Above: Typical Signal and Idler power vs. wavelength

Above: Relative intensity noise (RIN): Shot noise limited OPO Signal output for frequencies > 10 MHz

Datasheets & Brochures

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APE has distributors around the world to give you the best support. Choose a country to find your local sales contact:

APE Angewandte Physik & Elektronik GmbH
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13053 Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 30 986 011-30
Fax: +49 30 986011333


Coherent Scientific pty. Ltd.
Hilton SA 5033, South Australia

Phone: +61 8 8150 5200

PulsePower Technology Ltd.
Beijing, Haidan District
China 100090

Phone:+86 10 62565117

Pinnacle Scientific Cooperation
Hangzhou, Jianggan District
China 310020

Phone: +86 571 88225151

199 00 Praha 9, Česko

Phone: +420 212 247 293

Gammadata Instrument AB
750 02 Uppsala

Phone: +46 18 56 68 35

F 92170 Vanves, France

Phone: +33 1 419 061 80

Laser Sciences Services Pvt. Ltd.

Phone: +91 2778 1673

Photonic Solutions Ltd.
Edinburgh, UK

Phone: +44 131 664 8122
Email: or

Ammo Engineering Ltd.
Petach Tikva 49517, Israel

Phone: +972 3 9239 666

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Via Rota, 37
20900 Monza (MB)

Phone: +39 039 834977

Via Monte Giberto, 15
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Phone: +39 06 87657838

Phototechnica Corporation
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Phone: +81 48 871 0067

Seoul 137-862, Korea

Phone: +82 2 3461 1103

Guty Cardenas 147, Guadalupe Inn
Ciudad de Mexico, C.P. 01020, Mexico

Main Contact: Vicente Garcia Gomez

Phone: +52 555 401 8254

Eurotek International
02-668 Warsaw, Poland

Phone: +48 22 843 79 40

Innova Scientific S.L.
28290 Las Rozas de Madrid, Espana

Phone: +34 91 7105650

AceXon Technologies Pte. Ltd.
Singapore 658065

Phone: +65 6565 7300

Innova Scientific S.L.
28290 Las Rozas de Madrid

Phone: +34 91 7105650

SuperbIN Company Ltd.
5F., No. 41, Ln. 15, Sec. 6, Minquan E. Rd., Taipei 114
Taiwan, R.O.C.

Phone: +886-2-2793-0866
Fax: +886-2-2793-0855

Photonic Solutions Ltd.

Phone: +44 131 664 8122
Email: or

APE Applied Physics & Electronics, Inc.
Vancouver | WA | USA

Phone: +1 888 690 3250

Turning Complexity into a Turn-Key System

The light source is the most crucial and complex component of a CARS Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy or SRS Stimulated Raman Scattering system. Proper setup and calibration are essential for accurate and reproducible imaging. picoEmerald is a turn-key system combining user-friendly automation features and the utility of open-architecture light sources in a single box.