Abstract

Quantitative phase measurements by low-coherence interferometry and optical coherence tomography are restricted by the well-known 2π ambiguity to path-length differences smaller than λ/2. We present a method that overcomes this ambiguity. Introducing a slight dispersion imbalance between reference and sample arms of the interferometer causes the short and long wavelengths of the source spectrum to separate within the interferometric signal. This causes the phase slope to vary within the signal. The phase-difference function between two adjacent sample beam components is calculated by subtraction of their phase functions obtained from phase-sensitive interferometric signal recording. Because of the dispersive effect, the phase difference varies across the interferometric signal. The slope of that phase difference is proportional to the optical path difference, without 2π ambiguity.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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