Continuum generation from normally dispersive ultrahigh-numerical-aperture fibers deteriorates in relatively short times, limiting its application as a practical optical source for high-resolution optical coherence tomography. We find that reversible light-induced structural modification of fiber optic materials, rather than permanent optical damage, is responsible for this deterioration. By examining how the optical properties of corresponding light-induced waveguides depend on pumping wavelength, we isolate a waveguide that is beneficial for stable continuum generation. The performance deterioration due to the formation of other waveguides can be reversed by overwriting them with this particular waveguide.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 6, 2007
Revised Manuscript: April 30, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: May 14, 2007
Published: July 9, 2007
Vol. 2, Iss. 8 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Haohua Tu, Daniel L. Marks, Yee Lin Koh, and Stephen A. Boppart, "Stabilization of continuum generation from normally dispersive nonlinear optical fibers for a tunable broad bandwidth source for optical coherence tomography," Opt. Lett. 32, 2037-2039 (2007)