Abstract

An investigation was performed of the effectiveness of a time-resolved method for imaging very-low-contrast features embedded in highly scattering media. Experiments employed slabs of breastlike material into which were inserted small cylindrical objects having either a scattering or an absorption coefficient of 4, 2, 1.5, and 1.1 times greater than the surrounding medium. An attempt was made to quantify the degree of contrast produced by each object. The results indicate that time-gating is far more effective at enhancing the contrast of the scattering inhomogeneities than of the absorbing inhomogeneities. This observation is shown to agree with a diffusion-based model, which also predicts that time-gating can decrease the contrast of absorbing inhomogeneities unless very short time-gates can be employed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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