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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editors: Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin
  • Vol. 9, Iss. 5 — Apr. 29, 2014

Time-gated ballistic imaging using a large aperture switching beam

Florian Mathieu, Manuel A. Reddemann, Johannes Palmer, and Reinhold Kneer  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue 6, pp. 7058-7074 (2014)

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Ballistic imaging commonly denotes the formation of line-of-sight shadowgraphs through turbid media by suppression of multiply scattered photons. The technique relies on a femtosecond laser acting as light source for the images and as switch for an optical Kerr gate that separates ballistic photons from multiply scattered ones. The achievable image resolution is one major limitation for the investigation of small objects. In this study, practical influences on the optical Kerr gate and image quality are discussed theoretically and experimentally applying a switching beam with large aperture (D = 19mm). It is shown how switching pulse energy and synchronization of switching and imaging pulse in the Kerr cell influence the gate’s transmission. Image quality of ballistic imaging and standard shadowgraphy is evaluated and compared, showing that the present ballistic imaging setup is advantageous for optical densities in the range of 8 < OD < 13. Owing to the spatial transmission characteristics of the optical Kerr gate, a rectangular aperture stop is formed, which leads to different resolution limits for vertical and horizontal structures in the object. Furthermore, it is reported how to convert the ballistic imaging setup into a schlieren-type system with an optical schlieren edge.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(110.1220) Imaging systems : Apertures
(140.7090) Lasers and laser optics : Ultrafast lasers
(190.3270) Nonlinear optics : Kerr effect
(110.0113) Imaging systems : Imaging through turbid media

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: October 29, 2013
Revised Manuscript: January 18, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: January 31, 2014
Published: March 19, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 5 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Florian Mathieu, Manuel A. Reddemann, Johannes Palmer, and Reinhold Kneer, "Time-gated ballistic imaging using a large aperture switching beam," Opt. Express 22, 7058-7074 (2014)

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