We report the fabrication and performance of a lensed photonic crystal fiber (PCF) designed as a compact but effective side-viewing optical imaging probe. The lensed-PCF probe was implemented in a single body without using any other fibers or additional optics. The beam expansion region and a focusing ball lens, necessary for a focuser, were simultaneously formed along a small piece of PCF by applying arc discharges. The side-viewing ability was provided by polishing the ball lens with a femtosecond laser to form a total internal reflection surface. The working distance and the transverse resolution of the fabricated single-body lensed-PCF were experimentally measured to be 570 and , respectively. With the proposed lensed-PCF probe, optical coherence tomography images of an in vitro biological sample were successfully obtained.
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