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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 12 — Apr. 20, 2008
  • pp: 2004–2010

3 × 3 Mach–Zehnder interferometer with unbalanced differential detection for full-range swept-source optical coherence tomography

Youxin Mao, Sherif Sherif, Costel Flueraru, and Shoude Chang  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 12, pp. 2004-2010 (2008)

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Quadrature interferometry based on 3 × 3 fiber couplers could be used to double the effective imaging depth in swept-source optical coherence tomography. This is due to its ability to suppress the complex conjugate artifact naturally. We present theoretical and experimental results for a 3 × 3 Mach–Zehnder interferometer using a new unbalanced differential optical detection method. The new interferometer provides simultaneous access to complementary phase components of the complex interferometric signal. No calculations by trigonometric relationships are needed. We demonstrate a complex conjugate artifact suppression of 27 dB obtained in swept-source optical coherence tomography using our unbalanced differential detection. We show that our unbalanced differential detection has increased the signal-to-noise ratio by at least 4 dB compared to the commonly used balanced detection technique. This is due to better utilization of optical power.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: August 14, 2007
Revised Manuscript: March 14, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: March 21, 2008
Published: April 11, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 5 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Youxin Mao, Sherif Sherif, Costel Flueraru, and Shoude Chang, "3×3 Mach-Zehnder interferometer with unbalanced differential detection for full-range swept-source optical coherence tomography," Appl. Opt. 47, 2004-2010 (2008)

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