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Proceedings Paper

Noise study of all-normal dispersion supercontinuum sources for potential application in optical coherence tomography
Author(s): I. B. Gonzalo; R. D. Engelsholm; O. Bang
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Paper Abstract

Commercially available silica-fiber-based and ultra-broadband supercontinuum (SC) sources are typically generated by pumping close to the zero-dispersion wavelength (ZDW) of a photonic crystal fiber (PCF), using high-power picosecond or nanosecond laser pulses. Despite the extremely broad bandwidths, such sources are characterized by large intensity fluctuations, limiting their performance for applications in imaging such as optical coherence tomography (OCT). An approach to eliminate the influence of noise sensitive effects is to use a so-called all-normal dispersion (ANDi) fiber, in which the dispersion is normal for all the wavelengths of interest. Pumping these types of fibers with short enough femtosecond pulses allows to suppress stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), which is known to be as noisy process as modulation instability (MI), and coherent SC is generated through self-phase modulation (SPM) and optical wave breaking (OWB). In this study, we show the importance of the pump laser and fiber parameters in the design of low-noise ANDi based SC sources, for application in OCT. We numerically investigate the pulse-to-pulse fluctuations of the SC, calculating the relative intensity noise (RIN) as a function of the pump pulse duration and fiber length. Furthermore, we experimentally demonstrate the role of the fiber length on the RIN of the ANDi SC, validating the results calculated numerically. In the end, we compare the RIN of a commercial SC source based on MI and the ANDi SC source developed here, which shows better noise performance when it is carefully designed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2018
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 10591, 2nd Canterbury Conference on OCT with Emphasis on Broadband Optical Sources, 105910C (5 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2283060
Show Author Affiliations
I. B. Gonzalo, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
R. D. Engelsholm, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
O. Bang, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
NKT Photonics A/S (Denmark)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10591:
2nd Canterbury Conference on OCT with Emphasis on Broadband Optical Sources
Adrian Podoleanu; Ole Bang, Editor(s)

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