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Proceedings Paper

Frequency sweep jitter and wander of a Vernier-Tuned Distributed Bragg Reflector (VT-DBR) laser at 1550 nm in OCT applications
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Paper Abstract

The short-term jitter and longer-term wander of the frequency sweep profile of a Vernier-Tuned Distributed Bragg Reflector (VT-DBR) laser at 1550 nm used in OCT applications is characterized in this work. The VT-DBR has demonstrated success in source-swept OCT (SSOCT), performing both intensity [1] and phase-sensitive [2] OCT. The purpose of this paper is to investigate one of the unique aspects of the VT-DBR laser that makes it successful in OCT: the stability of the linear optical frequency sweep of the source. Jitter measurements of the optical frequency sweep are recorded using a 3-cavity 100 GHz free spectral range (FSR) solid etalon. A gas absorption reference cell is used for wander characterization. We report that the VT-DBR jitters by no more than 82 MHz RMS in optical frequency while sweeping at an 8 kHz repetition rate. Longer-term wander provides insight into the accuracy of the VT-DBR selfcalibration routine which produces an intrinsically linear optical frequency sweep. Over an 8-hour data collection period, the system maintains a linear sweep with an optical frequency step of 105 MHz per 2.5 ns with +/- 3 kHz per 2.5 ns (+/- 0.03%) peak-to-peak deviation. We find that the absolute frequency drifts by 325 MHz (2.6pm) over the same 8- hour period with ambient temperature fluctuations of no more than 5 °C. Results show that using calibration with a gas reference cell, picometer absolute wavelength accuracy of the laser can be achieved at any time for a single sweep. Stability and accuracy limits are thought to be due to electronic drive circuitry in the current design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9541, Optical Coherence Imaging Techniques and Imaging in Scattering Media, 95411C (9 July 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2183596
Show Author Affiliations
R. Christian Martens Biersach, California Polytechnic State Univ. (United States)
Dennis Derickson, California Polytechnic State Univ. (United States)
Jason Ensher, Insight Photonic Solutions, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9541:
Optical Coherence Imaging Techniques and Imaging in Scattering Media
Brett E. Bouma; Maciej Wojtkowski, Editor(s)

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