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Appl Opt. 2011 Feb 20;50(6):970-4. doi: 10.1364/AO.50.000970.

Axial-scanning low-coherence interferometer method for noncontact thickness measurement of biological samples.

Author information

  • 1United States Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20993, USA. do‐hyun.kim@fda.hhs.gov


We investigated a high-precision optical method for measuring the thickness of biological samples regardless of their transparency. The method is based on the precise measurement of optical path length difference of the end surfaces of objects, using a dual-arm axial-scanning low-coherence interferometer. This removes any consideration of the shape, thickness, or transparency of testing objects when performing the measurement. Scanning the reference simplifies the measurement setup, resulting in unambiguous measurement. Using a 1310 nm wavelength superluminescent diode, with a 65 nm bandwidth, the measurement accuracy was as high as 11.6 μm. We tested the method by measuring the thickness of both transparent samples and nontransparent soft biological tissues.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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