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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Thin polymer etalon arrays for high-resolution photoacoustic imaging
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Paper Abstract

Thin polymer etalons are demonstrated as high-frequency ultrasound sensors for three-dimensional (3-D) high-resolution photoacoustic imaging. The etalon, a Fabry-Perot optical resonator, consists of a thin polymer slab sandwiched between two gold layers. It is probed with a scanning continuous-wave (CW) laser for ultrasound array detection. Detection bandwidth of a 20-μm-diam array element exceeds 50 MHz, and the ultrasound sensitivity is comparable to polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) equivalents of similar size. In a typical photoacoustic imaging setup, a pulsed laser beam illuminates the imaging target, where optical energy is absorbed and acoustic waves are generated through the thermoelastic effect. An ultrasound detection array is formed by scanning the probing laser beam on the etalon surface in either a 1-D or a 2-D configuration, which produces 2-D or 3-D images, respectively. Axial and lateral resolutions have been demonstrated to be better than 20 μm. Detailed characterizations of the optical and acoustical properties of the etalon, as well as photoacoustic imaging results, suggest that thin polymer etalon arrays can be used as ultrasound detectors for 3-D high-resolution photoacoustic imaging applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2008
PDF: 8 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 13(6) 064033 doi: 10.1117/1.3042260
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 13, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Yang Hou, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Sheng-Wen Huang, Univ. of Washington (United States)
Shai Ashkenazi, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Russell S. Witte, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Matthew O'Donnell, Univ. of Washington (United States)


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