Abstract

We introduce a family of power-conserving fiber-optic interferometer designs for low-coherence reflectometry that use optical circulators, unbalanced couplers, and (or) balanced heterodyne detection. Simple design equations for optimization of the signal-to-noise ratio of the interferometers are expressed in terms of relevant signal and noise sources and measurable system parameters. We use the equations to evaluate the expected performance of the new configurations compared with that of the standard Michelson interferometer that is commonly used in optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems. The analysis indicates that improved sensitivity is expected for all the new interferometer designs, compared with the sensitivity of the standard OCT interferometer, under high-speed imaging conditions.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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References

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  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]
  2. M. R. Hee, J. A. Izatt, J. M. Jacobson, and J. G. Fujimoto, Opt. Lett. 18, 950 (1993).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. K. Takada, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 34, 1098 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  4. A. G. Podoleanu and D. A. Jackson, Appl. Opt. 38, 2116 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  5. B. E. Bouma and G. J. Tearney, Opt. Lett. 24, 531 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  6. B. M. Oliver, Proc. IRE 49, 1960 (1961).
  7. H. Hodara, Proc. IEEE 53, 696 (1965).
    [CrossRef]
  8. P. R. Morkel, R. I. Laming, and D. N. Payne, Electron. Lett. 26, 96 (1990).
    [CrossRef]
  9. W. V. Sorin and D. M. Baney, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 4, 1404 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  10. A. M. Rollins, R. Ung-Arunyawee, A. Chak, R. C. K. Wong, K. Kobayashi, M. V. Sivak, and J. A. Izatt, Opt. Lett. 24, 1358 (1999).
    [CrossRef]

1999 (3)

1998 (1)

K. Takada, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 34, 1098 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1993 (1)

1992 (1)

W. V. Sorin and D. M. Baney, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 4, 1404 (1992).
[CrossRef]

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]

1990 (1)

P. R. Morkel, R. I. Laming, and D. N. Payne, Electron. Lett. 26, 96 (1990).
[CrossRef]

1965 (1)

H. Hodara, Proc. IEEE 53, 696 (1965).
[CrossRef]

1961 (1)

B. M. Oliver, Proc. IRE 49, 1960 (1961).

Baney, D. M.

W. V. Sorin and D. M. Baney, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 4, 1404 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Bouma, B. E.

Chak, A.

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]

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.

M. R. Hee, J. A. Izatt, J. M. Jacobson, and J. G. Fujimoto, Opt. Lett. 18, 950 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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]

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]

Hee, M. R.

M. R. Hee, J. A. Izatt, J. M. Jacobson, and J. G. Fujimoto, Opt. Lett. 18, 950 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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]

Hodara, H.

H. Hodara, Proc. IEEE 53, 696 (1965).
[CrossRef]

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]

Izatt, J. A.

Jackson, D. A.

Jacobson, J. M.

Kobayashi, K.

Laming, R. I.

P. R. Morkel, R. I. Laming, and D. N. Payne, Electron. Lett. 26, 96 (1990).
[CrossRef]

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]

Morkel, P. R.

P. R. Morkel, R. I. Laming, and D. N. Payne, Electron. Lett. 26, 96 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Oliver, B. M.

B. M. Oliver, Proc. IRE 49, 1960 (1961).

Payne, D. N.

P. R. Morkel, R. I. Laming, and D. N. Payne, Electron. Lett. 26, 96 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Podoleanu, A. G.

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]

Rollins, A. M.

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]

Sivak, M. V.

Sorin, W. V.

W. V. Sorin and D. M. Baney, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 4, 1404 (1992).
[CrossRef]

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]

Takada, K.

K. Takada, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 34, 1098 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Tearney, G. J.

Ung-Arunyawee, R.

Wong, R. C. K.

Appl. Opt. (1)

Electron. Lett. (1)

P. R. Morkel, R. I. Laming, and D. N. Payne, Electron. Lett. 26, 96 (1990).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

K. Takada, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 34, 1098 (1998).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (1)

W. V. Sorin and D. M. Baney, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 4, 1404 (1992).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (3)

Proc. IEEE (1)

H. Hodara, Proc. IEEE 53, 696 (1965).
[CrossRef]

Proc. IRE (1)

B. M. Oliver, Proc. IRE 49, 1960 (1961).

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

SNR as a function of reference-arm reflectivity (SNR). Also shown are the signal-to-receiver-noise ratio SNreR, the signal-to-shot-noise ratio SNshR, and the signal-to-excess-noise ratio SNexR. The calculations assume that Rs=1, Rx=0.0005, ρ=0.95 A/W, the receiver noise current is 2 pA/Hz, an unpolarized optical source provides 20 mW of power at 1300 nm with 50-nm linewidth, and B=1 MHz.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Schematic of the optical power-conserving interferometer configurations: 50/50’s, 50/50 beam splitters; d1, d2, detectors; I, II, III, circulator ports.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

SNR as a function of splitting ratio for the power-conserving interferometer configurations and the standard Michelson interferometer (with optimum reference arm attenuation), assuming system parameters as described in Fig. 1 and Rr=0.1 and Tc=0.85.

Equations (4)

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σi2=σre2+σsh2+σex2.
σi2=2σre2+σsh2+σbe2.
Is2=2ρ2PrPs.
Is2=8ρ2PrPs.

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