Thermal lens microscope

Kenji Uchiyama, Akihide Hibara, Hiroko Kimura, Tsuguo Sawada, Takehiko Kitamori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


We developed a novel laser microscope based on the thermal lens effect induced by a coaxial beam comprised of excitation and probe beams. The signal generation mechanism was confirmed to be an authentic thermal lens effect from the measurement of signal and phase dependences on optical configurations between the sample and the probe beam focus, and therefore, the thermal lens effect theory could be applied. Two-point spatial resolution was determined by the spot size of the excitation beam, not by the thermal diffusion length. Sensitivity was quite high, and the detection ability, evaluated using a submicron microparticle containing dye molecules, was 0.8 zmol/μm2, hence a distribution image of trace chemical species could be obtained quantitatively. In addition, analytes are not restricted to fluorescent species, therefore, the thermal lens microscope is a promising analytical microscope. A two-dimensional image of a histamine molecule distribution, which was produced in mast cells at the femtomole level in a human nasal mucous polyp, was obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5316-5322
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number9 A
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Sep
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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