Abstract

We describe the fundamental characteristics of a synthesized light source (SLS) consisting of two low-coherence light sources to enhance the spatial resolution for optical coherence tomography (OCT). The axial resolution of OCT is given by half the coherence length of the light source. We fabricated a SLS with a coherence length of 2.3 µm and a side-lobe intensity of 45% with an intensity ratio of LED1:LED2 = 1:0.5 by combining two light sources, LED1, with a central wavelength of 691 nm and a spectral bandwidth of 99 nm, and LED2, with a central wavelength of 882 nm and a spectral bandwidth of 76 nm. The coherence length of 2.3 µm was 56% of the shorter coherence length in the two LEDs, which indicates that the axial resolution is 1.2 µm. The lateral resolution was measured at less than 4.4 µm by use of the phase-shift method and with a test pattern as a sample. The measured rough surfaces of a coin are illustrated and discussed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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