A technique to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of a high speed 1300 nm swept source optical coherence tomography (SSOCT) system was demonstrated. A semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) was employed in the sample arm to coherently amplify the weak light back-scattered from sample tissue without increasing laser power illuminated on the sample. The image quality improvement was visualized and quantified by imaging the anterior segment of a rabbit eye at imaging speed of 20,000 A-lines per second. The theory analysis of SNR gain is given followed by the discussion on the technologies that can further improve the SNR gain.
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