28 February 2008 Miniature optical coherence tomography system based on silicon photonics
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Abstract
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a promising medical imaging technique. It has found applications in many fields of medicine and has a large potential for the optical biopsy of tumours. One of the technological challenges impairing faster adoption of OCT is the relative complexity of the optical instrumentation required, which translates into expensive and bulky setups. In this paper we report an implementation of Time Domain OCT (TD-OCT) based on a silicon photonic platform. The devices are fabricated using Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) wafers, on which rib waveguides are defined. While most of the components needed are well-known in this technology, a fast delay line with sufficient scanning range is a specific requirement of TD-OCT. In the system reported, this was obtained making use of the thermo-optical effect of silicon. By modulating the thermal resistance of the waveguide to the substrate, it is possible to establish a trade-off between maximum working frequency and power dissipation. Within this trade-off, the systems obtained can be operated in the kHz range, and they achieve temperature shifts corresponding to scanning ranges of over 2mm. Though the current implementation still requires external sources and detectors to be coupled to the Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC), future work will include three-dimensional integration of these components onto the substrate. With the potential to include the read-out and driving electronics on the same die, the reported approach can yield extremely compact and low-cost TD-OCT systems, enabling a wealth of new applications, including gastrointestinal pills with optical biopsy capabilities.
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Eduardo Margallo-Balbás, Eduardo Margallo-Balbás, Gregory Pandraud, Gregory Pandraud, Patrick J. French, Patrick J. French, } "Miniature optical coherence tomography system based on silicon photonics", Proc. SPIE 6847, Coherence Domain Optical Methods and Optical Coherence Tomography in Biomedicine XII, 68470S (28 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.766797; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.766797
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