Coherent Raman scattering microspectroscopy, which includes coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microspectroscopy, permits label-free hyperspectral imaging. We report the theoretical study of the phase-shift effect of the impulse response function on the spectral and image-forming properties of coherent Raman scattering microspectroscopy. We show that the spectrum and image are influenced by not only the NA of objective for excitation () but also that for signal collection (), in association with the phase-shift effect. We discuss that, under the condition , both the spectrum and the image become deformed by the phase-shift effect, which can be applied to the direct measurement of the imaginary part of the nonlinear susceptibility in CARS spectroscopy. We point out that, even in SRS microscopy, the nonresonant background can contribute to the image formation and cause the artifact in the image.
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