Galvo or resonant scanning guide

Galvo v Resonant scanning guide

In our "galvo" system, two galvanometer scan mirrors (one for each axis) direct the laser beam to any XY position in the field of view. This allows for scans at acquisition rates of up to 50 frames per second (for a non-square pixel aspect ratio scan of a region with 200 x 50 pixels). Full frame scans can be carried out at up to 15 frames per second (at 256 x 128 pixels). The galvo scan head also provides full flexibility for arbitrary scan geometries such as straight line scans, arbitrary line scans and region of interest scans.

Alternatively, in our resonant multiphoton system, laser positioning in the x-axis is provided by a special resonant scan mirror which oscillates at a fixed frequency of 8 kHz. This enables very fast scanning of high resolution full field frames (512 x 512 pixel) with frame rates of up to 30 fps. For even higher frame rates, the number of lines per frame can be halved to 512 x 256 pixels, thereby doubling the frame rate to 60 fps or 90 fps, respectively. However, arbitrary scan patterns cannot be accommodated by the resonant mirror.


Galvo mirrors are most suitable for applications that require flexibility in scan speed, scan geometry and pixel dwell time. Galvo systems are a great choice for high-resolution morphological imaging, embryo development studies and microvasculature imaging. However, they also provide frame rates that are high enough for functional imaging.


  • Complete point control of laser
  • Arbitrary scan geometries (straight line scan, arbitrary line scan, spiral scan, random access point scan, non-square pixel aspect ratio, etc.)
  • Variable pixel dwell time
  • Example scan speeds:
    • 15 frames/sec at 256 x 128 px
    • 4 frames/sec at 512 x 512 px
    • 50 frames/sec at 200 x 50 px
    • Line scan: 1 kHz


Resonant mirrors are most suitable for applications that benefit from high frame rates, but do not require arbitrary scan geometries. Resonant scan systems are a popular choice for real-time functional imaging such as calcium imaging using genetically encoded indicators (eg. GCaMP) or small-molecule dyes (eg. OGB-1, Fura-2).


  • Fastest frame rates
  • Scan speeds:
    • 30 frames/sec at 512 x 512 px with an 8kHz mirror
    • 60 frames/sec at 512 x 256 px with an 8kHz mirror

Scientifica provides a modular multiphoton imaging system which can be tailored to meet your specific requirements. This flexibility enables your system to be developed as your needs change. For example, galvanometer scanning mirrors can be replaced with a resonant system (and vice-versa) without having to purchase a completely new setup. This gives you more control over your future experiments and helps save you money.

Scientifica HyperScope

The dual scan head HyperScope is available in a variety of scanning configurations to answer complex research questions in either in vitro or in vivo samples.

The imaging scan path can be set up in a galvo/galvo, galvo/resonant or galvo/galvo/resonant configuration depending on your experimental needs. It's also possible to upgrade the scanning path at a later date if necessary.

Banner Image Credit: Cambridge Technologies

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