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Proceedings Paper

Resolution enhancement of partial coherence interferometry by dispersion compensation
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Paper Abstract

In the past ten years partial coherence interferometry and optical coherence tomography have been developed for high precision biometry and tomography of the human eye in vivo. The longitudinal resolution of the optical coherence tomography technique depends on the spectral bandwidth of the light source used and on the dispersion of the media to be measured. In nondispersive media the resolution is approximately equal to the coherence length of the light used, which is inversely proportional to the width of the emission spectrum. Hence, a broad emission spectrum yields a short coherence length and consequently a good resolution. However, if the tissue under investigation is dispersive, the coherence envelope of the signal broadens leading to a decrease in resolution and interference fringe contrast. This effect becomes predominant if measurements through the dispersive media of the eye to the retina are performed with source bandwidths larger than approximately 25 nm. In order to achieve optimum resolution of OCT by applying a light source with a broad emission spectrum, the dispersion of the object to be measured, i.e. in this case of the ocular media, has to be compensated. Within the scope of this work we demonstrate the resolution improvement that is obtained by compensating the dispersive effects of the ocular media and using broadband light sources. Furthermore, we present the first optical coherence tomogram recorded with this technique in the retina of a human eye in vivo with an axial geometrical resolution of approximately 6 micrometers which is a two-fold improvement compared to presently used technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 December 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3192, Medical Applications of Lasers in Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, and Endoscopy, (22 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.297837
Show Author Affiliations
Angela Baumgartner, Institute of Medical Physics/Univ. of Vienna (Austria)
Christoph K. Hitzenberger, Institute of Medical Physics/Univ. of Vienna (Austria)
Wolfgang Drexler, Institute of Medical Physics/Univ. of Vienna (Austria)
Adolf Friedrich Fercher, Institute of Medical Physics/Univ. of Vienna (Austria)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3192:
Medical Applications of Lasers in Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, and Endoscopy
Gregory B. Altshuler; Reginald Birngruber; Marco Dal Fante; Raimund Hibst; Herbert Hoenigsmann; Neville Krasner M.D.; Frederic Laffitte, Editor(s)

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