We present a novel akinetic optical ultrasound sensor, consisting of a rigid, fiber-coupled Fabry-P´erot interferometer (FPI) with a central opening. The sensing principle relies exclusively on the detection of pressure-induced changes of the refractive index in the liquid located between the cavity mirrors. This enables resonance-free, inherently linear signal detection over a large bandwidth. We demonstrate that the sensor allows to realize exceedingly low noise equivalent pressure (NEP) values of 2 Pa over a 20 MHz measurement bandwidth, while maintaining a large full field of view of 2,7mm × 1,3mm as well as a flat frequency response. Imaging tests on phantoms and biological tissue show the suitability of the XARION-sensor for optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) applications. Transparent in axial direction, the sensor facilitates the implementation of highly sensitive fast-scanning reflection-mode OR-PAM setups, as well as easy integration with other imaging modalities such as confocal microscopy or OCT.
Wolfgang Rohringer, Stefan Preißer, Mengyang Liu, Stefan Zotter, Zhe Chen, Boris Hermann, Harald Sattmann, Balthasar Fischer, and Wolfgang Drexler, "All-optical highly sensitive broadband ultrasound sensor without any deformable parts for photoacoustic imaging," Proc. SPIE 9708, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2016, 970815 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 18 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213237.
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