Abstract

A novel method for detection of ballistic light and rejection of unwanted diffusive light to image structures inside highly scattering media is demonstrated. Degenerate four wave mixing (DFWM) of a doubled YAG laser in Rhodamine 6G is used to provide an ultrafast correlation time gate to discriminate against light that has undergone multiple scattering and therefore lost memory of the structures inside the scattering medium. We present preliminary results that determine the nature of the DFWM grating, confirm the coherence time of the laser, prove the phase-conjugate nature of the signal beam, and determine the dependence of the signal (reflectivity) on dye concentration and laser intensity. Finally, we have obtained images of a test cross-hair pattern through highly turbid suspensions of whole milk in water that are opaque to the naked eye. These imaging experiments demonstrate the utility of DFWM for imaging through turbid media. Based on our results, the use of DFWM as an ultrafast time gate for the detection of ballistic light in optical mammography appears to hold great promise for improving the current state of the art.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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