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Opt Express. 2007 Dec 10;15(25):16390-9.

Spectrally balanced detection for optical frequency domain imaging.


In optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI) or swept-source optical coherence tomography, balanced detection is required to suppress relative intensity noise (RIN). A regular implementation of balanced detection by combining reference and sample arm signal in a 50/50 coupler and detecting the differential output with a balanced receiver is however, not perfect. Since the splitting ratio of the 50/50 coupler is wavelength dependent, RIN is not optimally canceled at the edges of the wavelength sweep. The splitting ratio has a nearly linear shift of 0.4% per nanometer. This brings as much as +/-12% deviation at the margins of wavelength-swept range centered at 1060nm. We demonstrate a RIN suppression of 33dB by spectrally corrected balanced detection, 11dB more that regular balanced detection.

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