Real-time, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) is demonstrated in the 1.4¿1.7-μm wavelength region with a stretched-pulse, passively mode-locked, Er-doped fiber laser and highly nonlinear fiber. The fiber laser generates 100-mW, linearly chirped pulses at a 51-MHz repetition rate. The pulses are compressed and then coupled into a normally dispersive highly nonlinear fiber to generate a low-noise supercontinuum with a 180-nm FWHM bandwidth and 38 mW of output power. This light source is stable, compact, and broadband, permitting high-speed, real-time, high-resolution OCT imaging. In vivo high-speed OCT imaging of human skin with ~5.5-μm resolution and 99-dB sensitivity is demonstrated.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(140.3510) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, fiber
(170.3880) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical and biological imaging
(170.4500) Medical optics and biotechnology : Optical coherence tomography
(190.4370) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, fibers
N. Nishizawa, Y. Chen, P. Hsiung, E. P. Ippen, and J. G. Fujimoto, "Real-time, ultrahigh-resolution, optical coherence tomography with an all-fiber, femtosecond fiber laser continuum at 1.5 μm," Opt. Lett. 29, 2846-2848 (2004)