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Proceedings Paper

Submicrosecond speed optical coherence tomography system design and analysis using acousto-optics
Author(s): Nabeel A. Riza; Zahid Yaqoob
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Paper Abstract

We introduce a novel high speed no moving parts optical coherence tomography (OCT) system that acquires sample data at less than a microsecond/data point sampling rate. The basic principle of the proposed OCT system relies on using an acousto-optic deflector (AOD). This OCT system has the attractive features of an acousto-optic scanning heterodyne interferometer coupled with an acousto-optic variable optical delay line (ODL) operating in a reflective mode. Fundamentally, OCT systems use a broadband light source for high axial resolution inside the sample or living tissue under examination. Inherently, acousto-optic (AO) devices are Bragg-mode wavelength sensitive elements. In this paper, we identify that Bragg cell generated two beams naturally have an unbalanced and orthogonal spectrum with respect to each other. This mismatch in spectrums in turn violates the ideal auto-correlation condition for a high signal-to-noise ratio broadband interferometric sensor such as OCT. We solve this fundamental limitation of Bragg cell use for OCT by deploying a new interferometric architecture where the two interfering beams have the same power spectral profile over the bandwidth of the broadband source. With the proposed acousto-optic based system, high (e.g., MHz) intermediate frequency can be generated for low 1/f noise heterodyne detection. System issues such as resolution, number of axial scans, and delay-path selection time are addressed. Experiments described demonstrate our high speed acousto-optically tuned OCT system where optical delay lines can be selected at sub-microsecond speeds.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 June 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4619, Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications VI, (14 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.470499
Show Author Affiliations
Nabeel A. Riza, CREOL/Univ. of Central Florida and Nuonics, Inc. (United States)
Zahid Yaqoob, CREOL/Univ. of Central Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4619:
Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedical Science and Clinical Applications VI
Valery V. Tuchin; Joseph A. Izatt; James G. Fujimoto, Editor(s)

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