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Proceedings Paper

Thermo-optical delay line for optical coherence tomography
Author(s): Eduardo Margallo-Balbás; Gregory Pandraud; Patrick J. French
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Paper Abstract

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a powerful medical imaging technology. Its ability to non-invasively probe tissues in depth with high resolution has lead to applications in many fields of medicine, with a large potential for surgical guidance. One of the technological challenges impairing faster adoption of OCT is the relative complexity of the corresponding optical instrumentation, which translates into expensive and bulky setups. In this paper a compact fast-scanning optical delay line based on the thermo-optical effect of silicon is studied. Although this effect has been applied to other optical components, the necessary frequency behaviour together with the relatively large scanning range required are unique to the application. Cycling speeds of over 1kHz and ranges of more than 1mm are needed for video-rate acquisition of relevant tissue volumes. A structure is proposed to meet these specifications. A bulk micro machined freestanding waveguide is connected to the substrate by means of evenly spaced support beams. It is shown by means of the Finite Element Method that the geometrical parameters of the beams modulate the thermal behaviour of the waveguide. A linear trade-off between maximum working frequency and power dissipation for any given waveguide size and required scanning range has been found. Our results show that the proposed implementation of a fast-scanning delay line can match the requirements of Time Domain Optical Coherence Tomography.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6717, Optomechatronic Micro/Nano Devices and Components III, 671704 (10 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.754324
Show Author Affiliations
Eduardo Margallo-Balbás, Technische Univ. Delft (Netherlands)
Gregory Pandraud, Technische Univ. Delft (Netherlands)
Patrick J. French, Technische Univ. Delft (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6717:
Optomechatronic Micro/Nano Devices and Components III

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