We describe basic principles of wavelength-tuning interferometry and demonstrate its application in ophthalmology. The advantage of this technique compared with conventional low-coherence interferometry ranging is the simultaneous measurement of the object structure without the need for a moving reference mirror. Shifting the wavelength of an external-cavity tunable laser diode causes intensity oscillations in the interference pattern of light beams remitted from the intraocular structure. A Fourier transform of the corresponding wave-number-dependent photodetector signal yields the distribution of the scattering potential along the light beam illuminating the eye. We use an external interferometer to linearize the wave-number axis. We obtain high resolution in a model eye by slow tuning over a wide wavelength range. With lower resolution we demonstrate the simultaneous measurement of anterior segment length, vitreous chamber depth, and axial eye length in human eyes in vivo with data-acquisition times in the millisecond range.
© 1997 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 2, 1996
Revised Manuscript: February 26, 1997
Published: September 1, 1997
F. Lexer, C. K. Hitzenberger, A. F. Fercher, and M. Kulhavy, "Wavelength-tuning interferometry of intraocular distances," Appl. Opt. 36, 6548-6553 (1997)