Abstract

Real-time, ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) is demonstrated in the 1.41.7µm wavelength region with a stretched-pulse, passively mode-locked, Er-doped fiber laser and highly nonlinear fiber. The fiber laser generates 100-mW, linearly chirped pulses at a 51-MHz repetition rate. The pulses are compressed and then coupled into a normally dispersive highly nonlinear fiber to generate a low-noise supercontinuum with a 180-nm FWHM bandwidth and 38 mW of output power. This light source is stable, compact, and broadband, permitting high-speed, real-time, high-resolution OCT imaging. In vivo high-speed OCT imaging of human skin with 5.5µm resolution and 99-dB sensitivity is demonstrated.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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