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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Xi-Cheng Zhang
  • Vol. 39, Iss. 3 — Feb. 1, 2014
  • pp: 548–551

Energy-efficient low-Fresnel-number Bessel beams and their application in optical coherence tomography

Dirk Lorenser, C. Christian Singe, Andrea Curatolo, and David D. Sampson  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 3, pp. 548-551 (2014)

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Bessel beams feature a very large depth-of-focus (DOF) compared to conventional focusing schemes, but their central lobe carries only a small fraction of the total beam power, leading to a strongly reduced peak irradiance. This is problematic for power-limited applications, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) or optical coherence microscopy, as it can result in a prohibitive reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Using scalar diffraction theory, we show that the trade-off between DOF and peak irradiance of Bessel beams depends solely on the Fresnel number N. We demonstrate the existence of a low-Fresnel-number regime, N<10, in which axicons with Gaussian illumination can generate energy-efficient Bessel beams with a small number of sidelobes. In the context of OCT, this translates into DOF enhancements of up to 13× for a SNR penalty below 20 dB, which is confirmed by our experiments. We expect that these findings will enable improved performance of optical systems with extended DOF.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(120.4570) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical design of instruments
(140.3300) Lasers and laser optics : Laser beam shaping
(170.0180) Medical optics and biotechnology : Microscopy
(170.2150) Medical optics and biotechnology : Endoscopic imaging
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: November 4, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: December 1, 2013
Published: January 23, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Dirk Lorenser, C. Christian Singe, Andrea Curatolo, and David D. Sampson, "Energy-efficient low-Fresnel-number Bessel beams and their application in optical coherence tomography," Opt. Lett. 39, 548-551 (2014)

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