20 March 2013 Fast wavelength sweep in dispersion-tuned fiber laser using a chirped FBG and a reflective SOA for OCT applications
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We have demonstrated a wavelength-swept fiber laser based on dispersion tuning method. In this method, the light in a dispersive laser cavity is intensity modulated and actively mode-locked, and the lasing wavelength can be changed by controlling the modulation frequency. As the dispersion-tuned laser does not include any tunable filters, the sweep rate and range are not limited by mechanical moving parts. We have reported the wavelength-swept laser which has the tuning range of over 100nm with the sweep rate of 200kHz, and we have applied the laser to the swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) system. Although we have successfully obtained the OCT image of the human finger at 1kHz sweep rate, we could not obtain OCT images at higher sweep rate because of the performance degradation of the laser. As this laser cavity included 100m long dispersion compensating fiber (DCF), the long laser cavity increased the photon lifetime and resulted in the output power decrease and the linewidth broadening at higher sweep rate. In order to solve these problems, we inserted a reflective semiconductor optical amplifier (RSOA) and a chirped fiber Bragg grating (CFBG) into the laser cavity. Use of these devices made it possible to shorten the cavity length drastically and the laser performance at high sweep rate is significantly improved. We could achieve that the sweep range of 60nm and the output power of 8.4mW at 100kHz sweep. We applied the laser to swept-source OCT system and we successfully obtained images of an adhesive tape at up to 250kHz sweep.
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Y. Takubo, Y. Takubo, S. Yamashita, S. Yamashita, } "Fast wavelength sweep in dispersion-tuned fiber laser using a chirped FBG and a reflective SOA for OCT applications", Proc. SPIE 8571, Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedicine XVII, 85712V (20 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2006773; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2006773

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