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8 September 2006 Developing broadband sources for optical coherence tomography
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Proceedings Volume 6343, Photonics North 2006; 63430I (2006)
Event: Photonics North 2006, 2006, Quebec City, Canada
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging medical diagnostic technology for noninvasive in situ and in vivo cross-sectional morphological imaging of transparent or nontransparent biological tissues and materials on a micrometer scale. The technique uses low coherence interferometry to extract the intensity of the reflected signal as a function of penetration depth in the sample and is analogous to ultrasound except that much shorter wavelength infrared radiation is used rather than sound waves. Among the key enabling technologies for OCT systems are high-power, broadband optical sources (BBS). Such sources are required to provide large dynamic range and sensitivity, as well as very high axial resolution. In this paper, we present our ongoing work on developing BBS based on the amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) from semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) and erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs). We target sources spanning the S, C, and L bands, with milliwatts of output power and smoothly shaped output spectra. In terms of shaping the output spectra, we consider different designs of gain flattening filters based on side-tapped fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) as well as specially apodized FBGs operating in transmission. In terms of the source development, we have developed strained multiple-quantum well SOAs and hybrid SOA-EDFA structures. In the hybrid structures, we have also investigated the possibility of exploiting the unused ASE from the SOA as a secondary input to the L-band EDFA. We have also explored techniques such as double-passing to enhance efficiency as well as gain-clamping to provide some inherent spectral flattening.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
L. R. Chen, R. Kashyap, J. Azaña, R. Maciejko, R. Matei, J. Baron, G. Nemova, J. Chauve, L. Bojor, D. Beitel, S. Saqqa, and K. Singh "Developing broadband sources for optical coherence tomography", Proc. SPIE 6343, Photonics North 2006, 63430I (8 September 2006);

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