OSA's Digital Library

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editors: Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin
  • Vol. 6, Iss. 3 — Mar. 18, 2011

Axial-scanning low-coherence interferometer method for noncontact thickness measurement of biological samples

Do-Hyun Kim, Chul-Gyu Song, Ilko K. Ilev, and Jin U. Kang  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 50, Issue 6, pp. 970-974 (2011)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (441 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We investigated a high-precision optical method for measuring the thickness of biological samples regardless of their transparency. The method is based on the precise measurement of optical path length difference of the end surfaces of objects, using a dual-arm axial-scanning low-coherence interferometer. This removes any consideration of the shape, thickness, or transparency of testing objects when performing the measurement. Scanning the reference simplifies the measurement setup, resulting in unambiguous measurement. Using a 1310 nm wavelength superluminescent diode, with a 65 nm bandwidth, the measurement accuracy was as high as 11.6 μm . We tested the method by measuring the thickness of both transparent samples and nontransparent soft biological tissues.

OCIS Codes
(110.4500) Imaging systems : Optical coherence tomography
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(170.6935) Medical optics and biotechnology : Tissue characterization

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: December 8, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: December 28, 2010
Published: February 17, 2011

Virtual Issues
Vol. 6, Iss. 3 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Do-Hyun Kim, Chul-Gyu Song, Ilko K. Ilev, and Jin U. Kang, "Axial-scanning low-coherence interferometer method for noncontact thickness measurement of biological samples," Appl. Opt. 50, 970-974 (2011)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. L. Jacques, C. A. Alter, and S. A. Prahl, “Angular dependence of He–Ne laser light scattering by human dermis,” Lasers Life Sci. 1, 309–334 (1987).
  2. M. Miclear, U. Skrzypczak, S. Faust, F. Fankhauser, H. Graener, and G. Seifert, “Nonlinear refractive index of porcine cornea studied by z-scan and self-focusing during femtosecond laser processing,” Opt. Express 18, 3700–3707 (2010). [CrossRef]
  3. A. Heisterkamp, T. Ripken, T. Mamom, W. Drommer, H. Welling, W. Ertmer, and H. Lubatschowski, “Nonlinear side effects of fs pulses inside corneal tissue during photodisruption,” Appl. Phys. B 74, 419–425 (2002). [CrossRef]
  4. P. de Groot, J. Biegen, J. Clark, X. C. de Lega, and D. Grigg, “Optical interferometry for measurement of the geometric dimensions of industrial parts,” Appl. Opt. 41, 3853–3860(2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. X. Wang, C. Zhang, L. Zhang, L. Xue, and J. Tian, “Simultaneous refractive index and thickness measurements of bio tissue by optical coherence tomography,” J. Biomed. Opt. 7, 628–632 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. Z.-C. Jian, C.-C. Hsu, and D.-C. Su, “Improved technique for measuring refractive index and thickness of a transparent plate,” Opt. Commun. 226, 135–140 (2003). [CrossRef]
  7. M. Ohmi, H. Nishi, Y. Konishi, Y. Yamada, and M. Haruna, “High-speed simultaneous measurement of refractive index and thickness of transparent plates by low-coherence interferometry and confocal optics,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 15, 1531–1535 (2004). [CrossRef]
  8. C. Poilane and P. Sandoz, “Thickness measurement of nontransparent free films by double-side white-light interferometry: calibration and experiments,” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 77, 055102 (2006). [CrossRef]
  9. D.-H. Kim and I. K. Ilev, “Simple confocal thickness gauge based on fibre-optic confocal sensor for non-contact measurement,” Electron. Lett. 46, 1594–1595 (2010). [CrossRef]
  10. A. F. Fercher, C. Hitzenberger, and M. Juchem, “Measurement of intraocular optical distances using partially coherent laser-light,” J. Modern Opt. 38, 1327–1333 (1991). [CrossRef]
  11. Y. Zhu, N. G. Terry, and A. Wax, “Scanning fiber angle-resolved low coherence interferometry,” Opt. Lett. 34, 3196–3198(2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited