Dynamically enhanced low-coherence interferometry

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In the investigations of inhomogeneous media, availability of methods to study the interior of the material without affecting it is valuable. Optical coherence tomography provides such a functionality by providing depth resolved images of semi-transparent objects non-invasively. This is especially useful in medicine and is used not only in research but also in clinical practice. Optical coherence tomography characterizes each cross section by its reflectance. The basic physics principle underlying optical coherence tomography is low-coherence interferometry, which is combined with lateral scanning to produce cross sections. It is clearly desirable to obtain more detailed information regarding each cross section, if available. We have developed a system which measures the fluctuation spectra at all depths in low-coherence interferometry. By providing more information for each cross section, this can in principle be effective in tissue characterization and pathological diagnosis. The system uses the time dependence of the low-coherence interferometry data to obtain the fluctuation spectrum at each depth. Additionally, noise reduction is applied to obtain the spectra without unwanted noise, such as shot-noise, which can swamp the signal. The measurement system is applied to samples with no external stimuli, and depth resolved thermal fluctuation spectra of the samples are obtained. These spectra are compared with their corresponding theoretical expectations and are found to agree. The measurement system requires dualizing the detectors in the low-coherence interferometer but otherwise requires little additional equipment. The measurements were performed in ten to a hundred seconds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094302
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation


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