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

Fischer, Martin C., et al. “Measurements of Regional Alveolar Oxygen Pressure Using Hyperpolarized 3He MRI1.” Academic Radiology, vol. 12, no. 11, Elsevier BV, Nov. 2005, pp. 1430–39. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.acra.2005.07.007. Full Text

Fischer, Martin C., et al. “Two-photon absorption and self-phase modulation measurements with shaped femtosecond laser pulses.” Optics Letters, vol. 30, no. 12, The Optical Society, June 2005, pp. 1551–1551. Crossref, doi:10.1364/ol.30.001551. Full Text

Spector, Z. Z., et al. “Quantitative assessment of emphysema using hyperpolarized 3He magnetic resonance imaging.Magn Reson Med, vol. 53, no. 6, June 2005, pp. 1341–46. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/mrm.20514. Full Text

Ishii, Masaru, et al. “Hyperpolarized helium-3 MR imaging of pulmonary function.Radiol Clin North Am, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan. 2005, pp. 235–46. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.rcl.2004.09.010. Full Text

Fischer, M. C., et al. “Single-acquisition sequence for the measurement of oxygen partial pressure by hyperpolarized gas MRI.Magn Reson Med, vol. 52, no. 4, Oct. 2004, pp. 766–73. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/mrm.20239. Full Text

Spector, Z. Z., et al. “A small animal model of regional alveolar ventilation using HP 3He MRI1.Acad Radiol, vol. 11, no. 10, Oct. 2004, pp. 1171–79. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.acra.2004.08.001. Full Text

Soole, J. B. D., et al. “DWDM performance of a packaged reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer subsystem supporting modular systems growth.” Ieee Photonics Technology Letters, vol. 15, no. 11, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Nov. 2003, pp. 1600–02. Crossref, doi:10.1109/lpt.2003.818673. Full Text

Fischer, M. C., et al. “FEC performance under optical power transient conditions.” Ieee Photonics Technology Letters, vol. 15, no. 11, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Nov. 2003, pp. 1654–56. Crossref, doi:10.1109/lpt.2003.818665. Full Text

Jianjun Yu, V., et al. “10-Gb/s transmission over 200-km conventional fiber without dispersion compensation using the bias control technique.” Ieee Photonics Technology Letters, vol. 14, no. 12, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Dec. 2002, pp. 1746–48. Crossref, doi:10.1109/lpt.2002.804668. Full Text

Shin, D. S., et al. “10 Gbit∕s transmission over 50 km nonzero dispersion-shifted fibre using 1.3 [micro sign]m directly modulated uncooled transmitters.” Electronics Letters, vol. 38, no. 16, Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), 2002, pp. 864–864. Crossref, doi:10.1049/el:20020606. Full Text


Gutiérrez-Medina, B., et al. “Observation of the quantum zeno and anti-zeno effects in an unstable system.” Technical Digest  Summaries of Papers Presented at the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, Qels 2001, 2001, p. QPD1.1-QPD1.2. Scopus, doi:10.1109/QELS.2001.962243. Full Text

Fischer, M. C., et al. “Dynamical Bloch band suppression in an optical lattice.” Iqec, International Quantum Electronics Conference Proceedings, 1999, pp. 239–40.

Madison, K. W., et al. “Nonexponential decay in atomic tunneling.” Technical Digest  European Quantum Electronics Conference, 1998, p. 24.