Martin Fischer

Martin Fischer

Associate Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry

Associate Research Professor of Physics (Secondary)

Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

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, Austin 2001

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

Li, Baolei, et al. “Phase-cycling coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering using shaped femtosecond laser pulses.” Optics Express, vol. 18, no. 25, The Optical Society, Dec. 2010, pp. 25825–25825. Crossref, doi:10.1364/oe.18.025825. Full Text

Samineni, Prathyush, et al. “Measurements of nonlinear refractive index in scattering media.” Optics Express, vol. 18, no. 12, The Optical Society, June 2010, pp. 12727–12727. Crossref, doi:10.1364/oe.18.012727. Full Text Open Access Copy

Piletic, Ivan R., et al. “Rapid pulse shaping with homodyne detection for measuring nonlinear optical signals.” Optics Letters, vol. 33, no. 13, The Optical Society, July 2008, pp. 1482–1482. Crossref, doi:10.1364/ol.33.001482. Full Text

Fischer, Martin C., et al. “Simultaneous self-phase modulation and two-photon absorption measurement by a spectral homodyne Z-scan method.” Optics Express, vol. 16, no. 6, The Optical Society, Mar. 2008, pp. 4192–4192. Crossref, doi:10.1364/oe.16.004192. Full Text

Emami, Kiarash, et al. “Early changes of lung function and structure in an elastase model of emphysema—a hyperpolarized 3He MRI study.” Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 104, no. 3, American Physiological Society, Mar. 2008, pp. 773–86. Crossref, doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00482.2007. Full Text

Fischer, Martin C., et al. “Self-phase modulation signatures of neuronal activity.” Optics Letters, vol. 33, no. 3, The Optical Society, Feb. 2008, pp. 219–219. Crossref, doi:10.1364/ol.33.000219. Full Text

Warren, W. S., et al. “Novel nonlinear contrast improves deep-tissue microscopy.” Laser Focus World, vol. 43, no. 6, June 2007, pp. 99–103.

Kadlecek, Stephen J., et al. “Corrigendum to “Imaging physiological parameters with hyperpolarized gas MRI” Progress in NMR Spectrosc. 47 (2005) 187.” Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, vol. 48, no. 4, Elsevier BV, July 2006, pp. 233–35. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.pnmrs.2006.05.001. Full Text

KADLECEK, S., et al. “Imaging physiological parameters with hyperpolarized gas MRI.” Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, vol. 47, no. 3–4, Elsevier BV, Dec. 2005, pp. 187–212. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.pnmrs.2005.08.006. Full Text

Haczku, Angela, et al. “Hyperpolarized 3He MRI in Asthma.” Academic Radiology, vol. 12, no. 11, Elsevier BV, Nov. 2005, pp. 1362–70. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.acra.2005.08.027. Full Text


Liu, H. C., et al. “Intrinsic nonlinear optical signatures of neuronal activity.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, 2008.

Fischer, M. C., et al. “Self-phase modulation and two-photon absorption imaging of cells and active neurons.” Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging  Proceedings of Spie, vol. 6442, 2007. Scopus, doi:10.1117/12.698693. Full Text

Ye, T., et al. “Imaging melanin by two-photon absorption microscopy.” Proceedings of Spie  the International Society for Optical Engineering, vol. 6089, 2006. Scopus, doi:10.1117/12.646139. Full Text

Warren, W. S., et al. “Deep tissue imaging with shaped femtosecond laser pulses.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, 2006.

Fischer, M. C., et al. “Two-photon absorption and self-phase modulation measurements with shaped femtosecond laser pulses.” 2005 Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics, Cleo, vol. 2, 2005, pp. 968–70. Scopus, doi:10.1109/cleo.2005.201992. Full Text

Ye, T., et al. “Two-photon absorption microscopy of tissue.” Optics Infobase Conference Papers, 2005.

Warren, W. S., et al. “Two-photon absorption imaging with shaped femtosecond laser pulses.” Springer Series in Chemical Physics, vol. 79, 2004, pp. 867–69.

Ye, T., et al. “Deep tissue imaging approaches by direct capture of two-photon absorption.” 2004 2nd Ieee International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: Macro to Nano, vol. 1, 2004, pp. 668–71.

Kojima, K., et al. “Effect of reflection on un-isolated spot-size-converted 1.3 μm DFB lasers for 2.5 Gbit/s transmission.” Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, Technical Digest Series, vol. 70, 2002, pp. 473–75.

Yu, J., et al. “160GB/s single-channel unrepeatered transmission over 200km of non-zero dispersion shifted fiber.” European Conference on Optical Communication, Ecoc, vol. 6, 2001, pp. 20–21.