Analysis of the dispersion compensation of acousto-optic deflectors used for multiphoton imaging

Shaoqun Zeng, Xiaohua Lv, Kun Bi, Cheng Zhan, Derong Li, Wei R. Chen, Wenhui Xiong, Steven L. Jacques, Qingming Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The acousto-optic deflector (AOD) is highly preferred in laser scanning microscopy for its fast scanning ability and random addressing capability. However, its application in two-photon microscopy is frustrated by the dispersion of the AOD, which results in beam distortion and pulse lengthening. We report the analysis of simultaneous compensation for the angular dispersion and temporal dispersion of the AOD by merely introducing a single dispersive element such as a prism or a grating. Besides serving as a scanner, the AOD is also a part of the compressor pair by integrating the dispersive nature of the AO interaction. This compensation principle is effective for both one-dimensional (1-D) AOD and two-dimensional (2-D) AOD scanning. Switching from a 1-D to a 2-D system requires proper optical alignment with the compensation element, but does not involve any new components. Analytical expressions are given to illustrate the working principle and to help with understanding the design of the system. Fluorescence images of beads and cells are shown to demonstrate the performance of two-photon microscopy when applying this compensated 2-D AOD as scanner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024015
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Acousto-optic deflector
  • Dispersion compensation
  • Femtosecond laser application
  • Multiphoton microscopy
  • Scanning microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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