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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 21 — Oct. 10, 2011
  • pp: 20930–20939

Extended coherence length Fourier domain mode locked lasers at 1310 nm

Desmond C. Adler, Wolfgang Wieser, Francois Trepanier, Joseph M. Schmitt, and Robert A. Huber  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 21, pp. 20930-20939 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.020930


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Abstract

Fourier domain mode locked (FDML) lasers are excellent tunable laser sources for frequency domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) systems due to their combination of high sweep rates, large tuning ranges, and high output powers. However, conventional FDML lasers provide coherence lengths of only 4–10 mm, limiting their use in demanding applications such as intravascular OCT where coherence lengths of >20 mm are required for optimal imaging of large blood vessels. Furthermore, like most swept lasers, conventional FDML lasers produce only one useable sweep direction per tunable filter drive cycle, halving the effective sweep rate of the laser compared to the filter drive frequency. Here, we demonstrate a new class of FDML laser incorporating broadband dispersion compensation near 1310 nm. Elimination of chromatic dispersion in the FDML cavity results in the generation of forward (short to long wavelength) and backward (long to short wavelength) sweeps with substantially identical properties and coherence lengths of >21 mm. This advance enables long-range, high-speed FD-OCT imaging without the need for optical buffering stages, significantly reducing laser cost and complexity.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(140.3600) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, tunable
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(230.2035) Optical devices : Dispersion compensation devices
(060.3735) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber Bragg gratings

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: July 27, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 29, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: August 29, 2011
Published: October 6, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 11 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Desmond C. Adler, Wolfgang Wieser, Francois Trepanier, Joseph M. Schmitt, and Robert A. Huber, "Extended coherence length Fourier domain mode locked lasers at 1310 nm," Opt. Express 19, 20930-20939 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-21-20930


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