Abstract

We demonstrate an all-fiber breathing laser as inertia-free swept source (BLISS), with an ultra-compact design, for the emerging ultrafast bioimaging modalities. The unique feature of BLISS is its broadband wavelength-swept operation (60nm) with superior temporal stability in terms of both long term (0.08 dB over 27 h) and shot-to-shot power variations (2.1%). More importantly, it enables a wavelength sweep rate of >10MHz (7×108nm/s)—orders-of-magnitude faster than the existing swept sources based on mechanical or electrical tuning techniques. BLISS thus represents a practical and new generation of swept source operating in the unmet megahertz swept-rate regime that aligns with the pressing need for scaling the optical bioimaging speed in ultrafast phenomena study or high-throughput screening applications. To showcase its utility in high-speed optical bioimaging, we here employ BLISS for ultrafast time-stretch microscopy and multi-MHz optical coherence tomography of the biological specimen at a single-shot line-scan rate or A-scan rate of 11.5 MHz.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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