Label-free bond-selective imaging by listening to vibrationally excited molecules

Han Wei Wang, Ning Chai, Pu Wang, Song Hu, Wei Dou, David Umulis, Lihong V. Wang, Michael Sturek, Robert Lucht, Ji Xin Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Scopus citations


We report the realization of vibrational photoacoustic (VPA) microscopy using optical excitation of molecular overtone vibration and acoustic detection of the resultant pressure transients. Our approach eliminates the tissue scattering problem encountered in near-infrared spectroscopy and enables depth-resolved signal collection. The 2nd overtone of the CH bond stretch around 8300cm-1, where blood interference is minimal, is excited. We demonstrate 3D VPA imaging of lipid-rich atherosclerotic plaques by excitation from the artery lumen, and lipid storage in live Drosophila larvae, with millimeter-scale penetration depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number238106
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Wang, H. W., Chai, N., Wang, P., Hu, S., Dou, W., Umulis, D., Wang, L. V., Sturek, M., Lucht, R., & Cheng, J. X. (2011). Label-free bond-selective imaging by listening to vibrationally excited molecules. Physical Review Letters, 106(23), [238106].