Abstract

We examine the noise properties of supercontinuum light sources when used in low-coherence interferometry applications. The first application is a multiple-scattering low-coherence interferometry (ms2/LCI) system, where high power and long image acquisition times are required to image deep into tissue. For this system, we compare the noise characteristics of two supercontinuum sources from different suppliers. Both sources have long-term drift that limits the amount of time over which signal averaging is advantageous for reducing noise. The second application is a high-resolution optical coherence tomography system, where broadband light is needed for high axial resolution. For this system, we compare the noise performance of the two supercontinuum sources and a light source based on four superluminescent diodes (SLD) using imaging contrast as a comparative metric. We find that the NKT SuperK has superior noise performance compared with the Fianium SC-450-4, but neither meets the performance of the SLD.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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