Martin Fischer

Martin Fischer

Associate Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry

Office Location: 
2216 French Science Center, 124 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90346, Durham, NC 27708-0346
(919) 660-1523


Dr. Fischer’s research focuses on exploring novel nonlinear optical contrast mechanisms for molecular imaging. Nonlinear optical microscopes can provide non-invasive, high-resolution, 3-dimensional images even in highly scattering environments such as biological tissue.

Established contrast mechanisms, such as two-photon fluorescence or harmonic generation, can image a range of targets (such as autofluorescent markers or some connective tissue structure), but many of the most molecularly specific nonlinear interactions are harder to measure with power levels one might be willing to put on tissue. In order to use these previously inaccessible interactions as structural and molecular image contrasts we are developing ultrafast laser pulse shaping and pulse shape detection methods that dramatically enhance measurement sensitivity. Applications of these microscopy methods range from imaging biological tissue (mapping structure, endogenous tissue markers, or exogenous contrast agents) to characterization of nanomaterials (such as graphene and gold nanoparticles). The molecular contrast mechanisms we originally developed for biomedical imaging also provide pigment-specific signatures for paints used in historic artwork. Recently we have demonstrated that we can noninvasively image paint layers in historic paintings and we are currently developing microscopy techniques for use in art conservation and conservation science.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin 2001

  • M.A., University of Texas at Austin 1993

Li, B., et al. “Homodyne near-degenerate four-wave-mixing microscopy for graphene imaging and biomedical applications.” Cleo: Science and Innovations, Cleo Si 2012, Dec. 2012.

Wilson, J. W., et al. “Nonlinear cross-phase modulation microscopy using spectral shifting.” Cleo: Applications and Technology, Cleo at 2012, Dec. 2012.

Li, Baolei, et al. “Direct optical imaging of graphene in vitro by nonlinear femtosecond laser spectral reshaping..” Nano Letters, vol. 12, no. 11, Nov. 2012, pp. 5936–40. Epmc, doi:10.1021/nl303358p. Full Text

Wilson, Jesse W., et al. “Optical clearing of archive-compatible paraffin embedded tissue for multiphoton microscopy..” Biomedical Optics Express, vol. 3, no. 11, Nov. 2012, pp. 2752–60. Epmc, doi:10.1364/BOE.3.002752. Full Text

Robles, F. E., et al. “Phasor analysis for nonlinear pump-probe microscopy.” Optics Express, vol. 20, no. 15, July 2012, pp. 17082–92. Scopus, doi:10.1364/OE.20.017082. Full Text

Li, Baolei, et al. “Multicontrast nonlinear optical microscopy with a compact and rapid pulse shaper..” Optics Letters, vol. 37, no. 13, July 2012, pp. 2763–65. Epmc, doi:10.1364/ol.37.002763. Full Text

Wilson, Jesse W., et al. “Cross-phase modulation spectral shifting: nonlinear phase contrast in a pump-probe microscope..” Biomedical Optics Express, vol. 3, no. 5, May 2012, pp. 854–62. Epmc, doi:10.1364/BOE.3.000854. Full Text

Samineni, Prathyush, et al. “Pump-probe imaging of historical pigments used in paintings..” Optics Letters, vol. 37, no. 8, Apr. 2012, pp. 1310–12. Epmc, doi:10.1364/ol.37.001310. Full Text

Samineni, Prathyush, et al. “Cross-phase modulation imaging..” Optics Letters, vol. 37, no. 5, Mar. 2012, pp. 800–02. Epmc, doi:10.1364/ol.37.000800. Full Text

Li, B., et al. “Optimizing shape of femtosecond laser pulses for homodyne detection of nonlinear optical signals.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, Dec. 2011.