In-fiber common-path optical coherence tomography using a conical-tip fiber

K M Tan, M Mazilu, T H Chow, W M Lee, K Taguichi, B K Ng, W Sibbett, C S Herrington, C T A Brown, K Dholakia
Optics Express 2009 February 16, 17 (4): 2375-84
Common-path optical coherence tomography (CPOCT) is known to reduce group velocity dispersion and polarization mismatch between the reference and the sample arm as both arms share the same physical path. Existing implementations of CPOCT typically require one to incorporate an additional cover glass within the beam path of the sample arm to provide a reference signal. In this paper, we aim to further reduce this step by directly making use of the back-reflected signal, arising from a conical lens-tip fiber, as a reference signal. The conical lens, which is directly manufactured onto the optical fiber tip via a simple selective-chemical etching process, fulfils two functions acting as both the imaging lens and the self-aligning reference plane. We use a Fourier-domain OCT system to demonstrate the feasibility of this technique upon biological tissue. An in-fiber CPOCT technique may prove potentially useful in endoscopic OCT imaging.

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