Abstract

We report a polarization diversity detection scheme for optical coherence tomography with a new, custom, miniaturized fiber coupler with single mode (SM) fiber inputs and polarization maintaining (PM) fiber outputs. The SM fiber inputs obviate matching the optical lengths of the X and Y OCT polarization channels prior to interference and the PM fiber outputs ensure defined X and Y axes after interference. Advantages for this scheme include easier alignment, lower cost, and easier miniaturization compared to designs with free-space bulk optical components. We demonstrate the utility of the detection system to mitigate the effects of rapidly changing polarization states when imaging with rotating fiber optic probes in Intralipid suspension and during in vivo imaging of human airways.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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