Abstract

The instantaneous linewidth of rapidly wavelength-swept laser sources as used for optical coherence tomography (OCT) is of crucial interest for a deeper understanding of physical effects involved in their operation. Swept lasers for OCT, typically sweeping over ~15 THz in ~10μs, have linewidths of several gigahertz. The high optical- frequency sweep speed makes it impossible to measure the instantaneous spectrum with standard methods. Hence, up to now, experimental access to the instantaneous linewidth was rather indirect by the inverse Fourier transform of the coherence decay. In this Letter, we present a method by fast synchronous time gating and extraction of a “snapshot” of the instantaneous spectrum with an electro-optic modulator, which can subsequently be measured with an optical spectrum analyzer. This new method is analyzed in detail, and systematic artifacts, such as sideband generation due to the modulation and residual wavelength uncertainty due to the sweeping operation, are quantified. The method is checked for consistency with results from the common, more indirect measurement via coherence properties.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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2010 (1)

2009 (3)

2008 (1)

2007 (1)

2006 (2)

R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, and J. G. Fujimoto, Opt. Express 14, 3225 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (2)

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Huber, M. Wojtkowski, K. Taira, J. G. Fujimoto, and K. Hsu, Opt. Express 13, 3513 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2003 (1)

1991 (1)

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Adler, D. C.

An, X.

Armstrong, J. J.

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Biedermann, B.

Biedermann, B. R.

Bouma, B. E.

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Caswell, A. W.

Chang, W.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Choma, M. A.

Eastwood, P. R.

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Eigenwillig, C. M.

Flotte, T.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Fujimoto, J. G.

Gora, M.

Gorczynska, I.

Gregory, K.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Grulkowski, I.

Hee, M. R.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Herold, R. E.

Hillman, D. R.

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hsu, K.

Huang, D.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Huang, S. W.

Huber, R.

Izatt, J. A.

Jirauschek, C.

Klein, T.

Kowalczyk, A.

Kranendonk, L. A.

Leigh, M. S.

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Lin, C. P.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Marcos, S.

Oh, W. Y.

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Okura, Y.

Puliafito, C. A.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sampson, D. D.

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Sanders, S. T.

Sarunic, M. V.

Schuman, J. S.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Stinson, W. G.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Swanson, E. A.

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Szkulmowski, M.

Szlag, D.

Taira, K.

Tearney, G. J.

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Urata, Y.

Vakoc, B. J.

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Walsh, J. H.

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wieser, W.

Wojtkowski, M.

Yang, C. H.

Yun, S. H.

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. (1)

J. J. Armstrong, M. S. Leigh, D. D. Sampson, J. H. Walsh, D. R. Hillman, and P. R. Eastwood, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 173, 226 (2005).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

W. Y. Oh, S. H. Yun, B. J. Vakoc, G. J. Tearney, and B. E. Bouma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 103902 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express (9)

Science (1)

D. Huang, E. A. Swanson, C. P. Lin, J. S. Schuman, W. G. Stinson, W. Chang, M. R. Hee, T. Flotte, K. Gregory, C. A. Puliafito, and J. G. Fujimoto, Science 254, 1178 (1991).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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Figures (3)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Setup of (a) the PM FDML laser and (b) the two different linewidth measurement techniques.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

(a) Time-wavelength characteristic of the FDML laser. (b) Time integrated spectrum of the laser. (c) Intensity of the 1.6 ns pulse used to drive the EOM.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

(a) Instantaneous spectra of the FDML laser measured with both techniques ( 57687 Hz , 1300 nm , low- to high-frequency sweep). (b) Linewidth in picometers measured by Fourier transform of the roll-off versus wavelength and laser frequency. (c) Linewidth measured by electronic gating. (d) Ratio of the linewidths: electronic gating/FFT-roll-off.

Equations (2)

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Γ ( τ ) = E ( t ) E * ( t + τ ) + E * ( t ) E ( t + τ ) d t ,
S ( ω ) = Γ ( τ ) e i ω τ d τ .

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