Abstract

Photon-limited imaging has significant application under extreme environments, in which the photon efficiency is an important parameter. In this paper, we investigate the photon efficiency of computational ghost imaging with single-photon detection. By exploiting the Poisson statistical characteristics of single-photon counting, the relationships between the photon efficiency and the signal-to-noise ratio of the retrieved image are theoretically obtained, and both are closely related to the distribution characteristics of target and spatial modulation in the ghost imaging framework. To verify the availability of the built theoretical model for the photon efficiency, a specific computational ghost imaging with a binary object and the first-photon imaging algorithm is rigorously demonstrated in theory and in experiment. Our investigation paves the way for optimization of photon-limited ghost imaging.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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