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Photonics Dictionary

second-harmonic generation microscopy

A nonlinear label-free imaging technique commonly used during surgical procedures for the visualization of collagen fibers and muscle tissue (myosin) with submillimeter resolution. During the second-harmonic generation (SHG) process, the two photons of the same laser pulse interact and generate a third photon with twice the energy, resulting in a signal that is half the laser’s wavelength. Through the use of narrowband spectral filters, the SHG signal is distinguishable from the laser and surrounding light.
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