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J Biophotonics. 2011 Aug;4(7-8):552-8. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201000104. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

Wavelength swept amplified spontaneous emission source for high speed retinal optical coherence tomography at 1060 nm.

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  • 1Lehrstuhl für BioMolekulare Optik, Fakultät für Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Oettingenstr. 67, 80538 Munich, Germany.


The wavelength swept amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) source presented in this paper is an alternative approach to realize a light source for high speed swept source optical coherence tomography (OCT). ASE alternately passes a cascade of different optical gain elements and tunable optical bandpass filters. In this work we show for the first time a wavelength swept ASE source in the 1060 nm wavelength range, enabling high speed retinal OCT imaging. We demonstrate ultra-rapid retinal OCT at a line rate of 170 kHz, a record sweep rate at 1060 nm of 340 kHz with 70 nm full sweep width, enabling an axial resolution of 11 μm. Two different implementations of the source are characterized and compared to each other. The last gain element is either a semiconductor optical amplifier or an Ytterbium-doped fibre amplifier enabling high average output power of >40 mW. Various biophotonic imaging examples provide a wide range of quality benchmarks achievable with such sources.

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