National Capital Section
of the Optical Society of America

2015: The International Year of Light

Sixth 2014-2015 meeting of the
National Capital Section of the Optical Society of America,
joint with the IEEE Photonics Society, Washington, DC/No. Virginia Chapter

At the University of Maryland’s Jeong H. Kim Building In adjoining rooms 1107/1111
Tuesday, February 17th, 2015


Marcus T. Cicerone,
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
"High-Speed Coherent Raman Fingerprint Imaging of Materials and Biological Tissues"


Over the past ten years, coherent Raman imaging (CRI) has evolved from a curiosity to a practical tool for investigating some classes of biological and material questions. An important key to this evolution has been the ability to rapidly obtain information from many spectral peaks. Most vibrational spectroscopic information is found in the fingerprint region where spontaneous Raman can be used to achieve > 3:1 signal to noise ratio for weak fingerprint peaks in biological systems, but typically requires acquisition times of several seconds; too slow for imaging. Coherent Raman methods have previously been unable to acquire high quality fingerprint spectra.

We have overcome this limitation by developing a highly efficient signal excitation paradigm and appropriately harnessing the nonresonant background (NRB) signal that accompanies the resonant signal of interest. With these and other innovations, we have developed a CRI approach based on broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (BCARS) that provides an unprecedented combination of speed, sensitivity, and chemical selectivity [1]. Using this system we are able to obtain high quality Raman spectra in the fingerprint and CH stretch regions from biological specimens at 3.5 ms, enabling rapid, label-free chemical imaging of even delicate samples. I will briefly put our approach in context with the broader CRI field, describe key technical features of the present imaging system and provide application examples in materials and biology. I will also briefly discuss focus areas for future advances, and speculate on ultimate performance limits for coherent Raman imaging.

Camp, J. J., Lee, Y. J., Heddleston, J. M., Hartshorn, C. M., et al. High-speed coherent Raman fingerprint imaging of biological tissues. Nat Photon 8, 627-634 (2014)


Marcus Cicerone is currently a project leader in the Biomaterials Group of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has received two NIST Bronze Medals and published approximately 70 peer-reviewed papers, which have received more than 3400 citations (h-index = 27).

His research has two broad focus areas. One is dynamics of amorphous and glassy systems. This area includes work in biopreservation – stabilizing proteins in dry state for therapeutic and diagnostic use. He and his colleagues were the first to show that dynamics on the ps to ns timescale ultimately control protein degradation rates in sugar-based glasses, a discovery that has led to increased efficiency in formulating freeze-dried protein drugs.

Dr. Cicerone’s other research area is nonlinear spectroscopic imaging. In 2004 he and his research team introduced broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy (BCARS microscopy). This approach has already proven to be superior to spontaneous Raman imaging, with potential for significant further improvements.

He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995. After graduation he worked at Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics for three years and then as a visiting assistant professor at Brigham Young University for two years before taking a position at NIST.


6:00 PM Complementary snacks and soft drinks at the Jeong H. Kim Bldg., Rms. 1107/1111 University of Maryland

6:30 PM Featured Talk: “High-Speed Coherent Raman Fingerprint Imaging of Materials and Biological Tissues”

~7:45 PM Optional Dinner with Dr. Cicerone, details TBA.

DIRECTIONS to the Kim Building, University of Maryland:

Take the Capital Beltway (Rt. 495) to College Part (Rt.1) exit 25. Go about two and a half miles south and turn right at the entrance to the University of Maryland campus onto Campus Drive. Once inside, take your first right. The Jeong H. Kim Building will be on your left just after crossing Stadium Drive. After 4 PM, the free XX1,XX2 and XX5 lots are available for visitors. Be careful not to park in an E, EE or T lot as they carry $75 fines for unauthorized use. Check the parking signs to be sure you are in the right parking lot. Pay parking is available in the Paint Branch Drive visitors’ pay parking lot ($3 per hour) on the left just beyond the Jeong H. Kim Building.

From Route One coming from the South, turn LEFT onto Campus Drive and merge onto the rightmost lane.
Make the first possible right, pass Stadium Drive, and the Jeong H. Kim Building will be on your left side.

For a campus map see
Please note that there is plenty of parking after 4:00 PM.

Reservations are requested for the dinner so that we may let the restaurant know how many to expect. Contact:
John Burris
(301) 614-5031

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