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Proceedings Paper

Ultra-low noise supercontinuum source for ultra-high resolution optical coherence tomography at 1300 nm
Author(s): I. B. Gonzalo; M. Maria; R. D. Engelsholm; T. Feuchter; L. Leick; P. M. Moselund; A. Podoleanu; O. Bang
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Paper Abstract

Supercontinuum (SC) sources are of great interest for many applications due to their ultra-broad optical bandwidth, good beam quality and high power spectral density [1]. In particular, the high average power over large bandwidths makes SC light sources excellent candidates for ultra-high resolution optical coherence tomography (UHR-OCT) [2-5]. However, conventional SC sources suffer from high pulse-to-pulse intensity fluctuations as a result of the noise-sensitive nonlinear effects involved in the SC generation process [6-9]. This intensity noise from the SC source can limit the performance of OCT, resulting in a reduced signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) [10-12]. Much work has been done to reduce the noise of the SC sources for instance with fiber tapers [7,8] or increasing the repetition rate of the pump laser for averaging in the spectrometer [10,12]. An alternative approach is to use all-normal dispersion (ANDi) fibers [13,14] to generate SC light from well-known coherent nonlinear processes [15-17]. In fact, reduction of SC noise using ANDi fibers compared to anomalous dispersion SC pumped by sub-picosecond pulses has been recently demonstrated [18], but a cladding mode was used to stabilize the ANDi SC. In this work, we characterize the noise performance of a femtosecond pumped ANDi based SC and a commercial SC source in an UHR-OCT system at 1300 nm. We show that the ANDi based SC presents exceptional noise properties compared to a commercial source. An improvement of ~5 dB in SNR is measured in the UHR-OCT system, and the noise behavior resembles that of a superluminiscent diode. This preliminary study is a step forward towards development of an ultra-low noise SC source at 1300 nm for ultra-high resolution OCT.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 February 2018
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10486, Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies XI, 104860N (19 February 2018);
Show Author Affiliations
I. B. Gonzalo, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
M. Maria, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Univ. of Kent (United Kingdom)
NKT Photonics Inc. (Denmark)
R. D. Engelsholm, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
T. Feuchter, NKT Photonics A/S (Denmark)
L. Leick, NKT Photonics A/S (Denmark)
P. M. Moselund, NKT Photonics A/S (Denmark)
A. Podoleanu, Univ. of Kent (United Kingdom)
O. Bang, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
NKT Photonics Inc. (Denmark)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10486:
Design and Quality for Biomedical Technologies XI
Ramesh Raghavachari; Rongguang Liang, Editor(s)

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