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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 6 — Mar. 21, 2005
  • pp: 1860–1874

The effect of water dispersion and absorption on axial resolution in ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography

Timothy R. Hillman and David D. Sampson  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 6, pp. 1860-1874 (2005)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OPEX.13.001860


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Abstract

We examine the effects of dispersion and absorption in ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT), particularly the necessity to compensate for high dispersion orders in order to narrow the axial point-spread function envelope. We present a numerical expansion in which the impact of the various dispersion orders is quantified; absorption effects are evaluated numerically. Assuming a Gaussian source spectrum (in the optical frequency domain), we focus on imaging through water as a first approximation to biological materials. Both dispersion and absorption are found to be most significant for wavelengths above ~1µm, so that optimizing the system effective resolution (ER) requires choosing an operating wavelength below this limit. As an example, for 1-µm source resolution (FWHM), and propagation through a 1-mm water cell, if up to third-order dispersion compensation is applied, then the optimal center wavelength is 0.8µm, which generates an ER of 1.5µm (in air). The incorporation of additional bandwidth yields no ER improvement, due to uncompensated high-order dispersion and long-wavelength absorption.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(170.4500) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical coherence tomography
(260.2030) Physical optics : Dispersion
(300.1030) Spectroscopy : Absorption

ToC Category:
Research Papers

History
Original Manuscript: December 24, 2004
Revised Manuscript: February 23, 2005
Published: March 21, 2005

Citation
Timothy Hillman and David Sampson, "The effect of water dispersion and absorption on axial resolution in ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography," Opt. Express 13, 1860-1874 (2005)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-13-6-1860


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