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Dispersion control with a Fourier-domain optical delay line in a fiber-optic imaging interferometer

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Abstract

Recently, Fourier-domain (FD) optical delay lines (ODLs) were introduced for high-speed scanning and dispersion compensation in imaging interferometry. We investigate the effect of first- and second-order dispersion on the photocurrent signal associated with an optical coherence imaging system implemented with a single-mode fiber, a superluminescent diode centered at 950 nm ± 35 nm, a FD ODL, a mirror, and a layered LiTAO3 that has suitable dispersion characteristics to model a skin specimen. We present a practical and useful method to minimize the effect of dispersion through the interferometer and the specimen combined, as well as to quantify the results using two general metrics for resolution. Theoretical and associated experimental results show that, under the optimum solution, the maximum broadening of the point-spread function through a 1-mm-deep specimen is limited to 57% of its original rms width value (i.e., 8.1 µm optimal, 12.7 µm at maximum broadening) compared with approximately 110% when compensation is performed without the specimen taken into account.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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