Ultrahigh resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) is performed with a broadband, Kerr-lens mode-locked, diode-pumped Cr3+:LiCAF laser. The laser source has a bandwidth of 89 nm with an output power of 37 mW. OCT imaging is demonstrated with 4.5 µm axial resolution in air or 3.4 µm in tissue. In vivo imaging of the human retina is demonstrated. Ultrahigh resolution OCT images from the Cr3+:LiCAF laser source were compared with standard resolution images from a commercial OCT system and ultrahigh resolution OCT images from a Kerr-lens mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser light source. The Cr3+:LiCAF source is pumped only by two single-emitter laser diodes, which makes this laser a viable, low-cost alternative to mode-locked Ti:sapphire lasers that are currently used for ultrahigh resolution OCT imaging.
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