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Biomedical Optics Express

Biomedical Optics Express

  • Editor: Joseph A. Izatt
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 4 — Nov. 1, 2010
  • pp: 1188–1195

Comparison of intensity-modulated continuous-wave lasers with a chirped modulation frequency to pulsed lasers for photoacoustic imaging applications

Adam Petschke and Patrick J. La Rivière  »View Author Affiliations

Biomedical Optics Express, Vol. 1, Issue 4, pp. 1188-1195 (2010)

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Using a Green’s function solution to the photoacoustic wave equation, we compare intensity-modulated continuous-wave (CW) lasers with a chirped modulation frequency to pulsed lasers for photoacoustic imaging applications. Assuming the same transducer is used in both cases, we show that the axial resolution is identical and is determined by the transducer and material properties of the object. We derive a simple formula relating the signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) of the two imaging systems that only depends on the fluence of each pulse and the time-bandwidth product of the chirp pulse. We also compare the SNR of the two systems assuming the fluence is limited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) laser safety guidelines for skin. We find that the SNR is about 20 dB to 30 dB larger for pulsed laser systems for reasonable values of the parameters. However, CW diode lasers have the advantage of being compact and relatively inexpensive, which may outweigh the lower SNR in many applications.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.2020) Lasers and laser optics : Diode lasers
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(170.5120) Medical optics and biotechnology : Photoacoustic imaging

ToC Category:
Photoacoustic Imaging and Spectroscopy

Original Manuscript: July 30, 2010
Revised Manuscript: September 16, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: October 15, 2010
Published: October 20, 2010

Adam Petschke and Patrick J. La Rivière, "Comparison of intensity-modulated continuous-wave lasers with a chirped modulation frequency to pulsed lasers for photoacoustic imaging applications," Biomed. Opt. Express 1, 1188-1195 (2010)

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