Apparatus And Method For Optically Amplified Multi-Dimensional Spectrally Encoded Imaging

Tech ID: 27206 / UC Case 2009-275-0


Scientists at UCLA have developed an advanced optical imaging technique that uses spectral brushes to capture image data across an entire sample area at once, a technique that enables faster imaging and higher sensitivity over current methods.


Conventional detection techniques for imaging are slow and incapable of capturing dynamic processes that occur on the time scale of nanoseconds. CCD and CMOS sensor arrays in cameras have typical frame rates of 100 Hz – 10 kHz, so even at the fastest operating shutter speeds (~100 ns) the download time can still take several milliseconds, which bottlenecks the overall image collection procedure. Faster frame rates can be achieved, but require costly and bulky cooling systems or high intensity illumination setups that can damage biological samples.


Researchers at UCLA have developed an apparatus and method for high speed, real-time, two- and three-dimensional imaging that can overcome the fundamental trade-off between sensitivity and speed. Their process is called femtosecond real-time serial imaging (FARSI) and it employs a two-dimensional spectral pattern as a probe beam with optical amplification on the backend.The image is ultimately obtained through spectrum decoding of the back-reflected light from the sample.This technique is already described in Nature as being the “world's fastest camera.”


  • High speed microscopy
  • Industrial inspection and monitoring
  • Endoscopy, for industrial and medical use


  • Faster shutter speed
  • Higher frame rate
  • Higher sensitivity
  • No mechanical scanning

State Of Development

As a proof of concept, continuous real-time imaging at a frame speed of 163 nanoseconds (a frame rate of 6.1 MHz) and a shutter speed of 440 picoseconds is demonstrated in the Nature article.

Related Materials

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,835,840 12/05/2017 2009-275
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,987,649 03/24/2015 2009-275


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches


  • Jalali, Bahram

Other Information


imaging, optics, process/procedure, microscopy, ultra-fast real-time optical imaging

Categorized As