Real-time, ultrahigh-resolution, optical coherence tomography with an all-fiber, femtosecond fiber laser continuum at 1.5 microm

N Nishizawa, Y Chen, P Hsiung, E P Ippen, J G Fujimoto
Optics Letters 2004 December 15, 29 (24): 2846-8
Real-time, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) is demonstrated in the 1.4-1.7-microm wavelength region with a stretched-pulse, passively mode-locked, Er-doped fiber laser and highly nonlinear fiber. The fiber laser generates 100-mW, linearly chirped pulses at a 51-MHz repetition rate. The pulses are compressed and then coupled into a normally dispersive highly nonlinear fiber to generate a low-noise supercontinuum with a 180-nm FWHM bandwidth and 38 mW of output power. This light source is stable, compact, and broadband, permitting high-speed, real-time, high-resolution OCT imaging. In vivo high-speed OCT imaging of human skin with approximately 5.5-microm resolution and 99-dB sensitivity is demonstrated.

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