We have observed that cross-polarized backscatter measured by optical coherence tomography of human skin <i>in vivo</i> is surprisingly strong. We identify and give evidence of its main origins: single scattering from nonspherical particles and multiple scattering by particles with sizes much larger than a wavelength. Our findings show that depolarized light scattered by dense large-diameter particles maintains a high degree of temporal coherence and that differential-polarization imaging improves contrast between particles of different sizes.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(290.4210) Scattering : Multiple scattering
J. M. Schmitt and S. H. Xiang, "Cross-polarized backscatter in optical coherence tomography of biological tissue," Opt. Lett. 23, 1060-1062 (1998)