We report the use of starch as an ideal nonlinear medium with which to perform collinear frequency-resolved optical gating measurements of ultrashort pulses at the focal plane of a high-numerical-aperture (NA) lens. We achieved these measurements by simply sandwiching starch granules (suspended in water) between two coverslips and placing them within the focal plane of a high-NA lens. The natural nonlinear characteristics of starch allow the correct phase matching of pulses at the focal plane of a high-NA lens at different wavelengths. This elegant arrangement overcomes all the complexity and problems that were previously associated with pulse characterization within a multiphoton microscope. (C) 2004 Optical Society of America.
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