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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Characterizing the coherence of broadband sources using optical phase space contours
Author(s): Adam Wax; Samir Bali; Gerard A. Alphonse; John E. Thomas
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Paper Abstract

Advances in optical coherence tomography (OCT) rely on the availability of broadband light that is spatially coherent. We present a technique to characterize coherence properties of broadband light using optical phasespace contours in transverse momentum and position. We demonstrate that these contour plots can be directly measured by a simple heterodyne imaging scheme possessing high dynamic range (130 dB) and 0.1 fW sensitivity (for mW input beams). These phase space distributions are shown to yield quantitative information on the longitudinal and transverse coherence and the wavefront curvature of the light beam. We apply this technique to characterize the light emitted by a novel high-power extended-bandwidth superluminescent diode (SLD) recently developed at the David Sarnoff Research Center. Its performance is compared to that of standard commercially available SLDs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1999
PDF: 8 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 4(4) doi: 10.1117/1.429961
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 4, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Adam Wax, Duke Univ. (United States)
Samir Bali, Duke Univ. (United States)
Gerard A. Alphonse, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
John E. Thomas, Duke Univ. (United States)


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