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29 August 2005 Optical coherence tomography with a Fizeau interferometer configuration
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We report the investigation of a Fizeau interferometer-based OCT system. A secondary processing interferometer is necessary in this configuration, to compensate the optical path difference formed in the Fizeau interferometer between the end of the fibre and the sample. The Fizeau configuration has the advantage of 'downlead insensitivity', which eliminates polarisation fading. An optical circulator is used in our system to route light efficiently from the source to the sample, and backscattered light from the sample and the fibre end through to the Mach-Zehnder processing interferometer. The choice of a Mach-Zehnder processing interferometer, from which both antiphase outputs are available, facilitates the incorporation of balanced detection, which often results in a large improvement in the Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) compared with the use of a single detector. Balanced detection comprises subtraction of the two antiphase interferometer outputs, implying that the signal amplitude is doubled and the noise is well reduced. It has been discerned that the SNR drops when the refractive index variation at a boundary is small. Several OCT images of samples (resin, resin + crystals, fibre composite) are presented.
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P. Casaubieilh, H. D. Ford, S. W. James, and R. P. Tatam "Optical coherence tomography with a Fizeau interferometer configuration", Proc. SPIE 5858, Nano- and Micro-Metrology, 58580I (29 August 2005);

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