Optical Pulse Shaping For Chirped Pulse Interferometry And Bio-Imaging
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Biomedical imaging requires high resolution to see the fine features of a sample and fast acquisition to observe live cells that move. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a powerful technique which uses optical interference for non-invasive high resolution 3D imaging in biological samples. The resolution of OCT is determined by the length over which the light used will in- terfere. Unfortunately, dispersion hurts the imaging resolution by broadening interference features. A technique called quantum-OCT (QOCT) is immune to dispersion but re- quires entangled photon pairs. The need for entanglement drastically reduces the number of photons available for imaging, making QOCT too slow to be practical. Chirped-pulse interferometry (CPI) is also immune to dispersion. A chirped pulse is one where the fre- quency, or colour, of the light changes from red to blue from one end of the pulse to the other. CPI relies on frequency correlations created by applying different chirps to two sep- arate pulses. This method had the disadvantage of being limited to a single predetermined chirp rate, and discarded 50% of the power. However CPI has better resolution than OCT, automatic dispersion cancellation, and 10,000,000 times the signal strength of QOCT . A new, much more flexible and efficient method of CPI will be demonstrated by creating the frequency correlations entirely in a single pulse. This new method is referred to as non- linear chirped pulse interferometry (NL-CPI). The non-linear chirp required in NCPI is very difficult to produce using only conven- tional optics. In this thesis we document the construction and characterization of a new method of creating the desired chirp using a programmable pulse-shaper (PS). We build a PPS and then demonstrated its functionality by compressing a 105nm FWHM bandwidth pulse to under 17f s, near its transform limited time duration. We also show that the values given to the PPS for dispersion are accurate by calculating and then compensating the dispersion caused by various optical elements in the CPI interferometer. Conventional OCT systems are immune to dispersion common to both arms of the interferometer. Non-linear interferometers experience broadening due to this dispersion, making them more difficult to use with fibre based interferometers common in conventional OCT. We show that NL-CPI can compensate for dispersion common to both arms of the interferometer, making NL-CPI more appealing as a replacement for conventional OCT. In this thesis we experimentally implement and demonstrate a prototype setup using non-linear CPI for dispersion-cancelled imaging of a mirror, with a resolution comparable to conventional OCT systems. We then use the system to produce 2-D cross sectional images of a biological sample, an onion. Q-OCT has previously been used to image an onion, but required treating the onion with gold nano particles to achieve a useful signal. The onion we used had no special treatment. In addition our axial scanning rate is also 10000 times faster than Q-OCT.
Cite this work
Kurt Schreiter (2011). Optical Pulse Shaping For Chirped Pulse Interferometry And Bio-Imaging. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/6238