[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 17, No. 3 (2010) 305-308]
© 2010 The Japan Society of Applied Physics

Broadly Tunable UV–Blue Picosecond Pulsed Laser and Its Application for Biological Imaging

Yasuhiro MAEDA1,2, Masaki YUMOTO1,2, Norihito SAITO2, Takayo OGAWA2, Kazuo KUROKAWA3, Akihiko NAKANO3, Masafumi YAMASHITA4, and Satoshi WADA1,2

1Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo University of Science, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-8601, Japan
2Solid-State Laser for Astronomical Observation Research Team, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
3Molecular Membrane Biology Laboratory, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
4Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Chiba 278-8510, Japan

(Received September 19, 2009; Accepted December 12, 2009)

We have achieved a rapid and random wavelength tuned picosecond pulsed laser and a widely tunable UV–blue picosecond pulsed laser by using the intracavity second harmonic generation of the laser. The tuning range was from 384 to 434 nm with picosecond pulse oscillation. In addition, we demonstrated biological imaging using a fluorescent protein excited by the widely tunable UV–blue picosecond pulsed laser. We found that the laser is suitable for biological imaging using the fluorescent protein as an excitation light source without damages.

Key words: acousto-optic tunable filter, electronic wavelength tuning, tunable solid-state laser, Ti:Al2O3 laser, second harmonic generation, sum frequency generation