Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography: Optimization of signal-to-noise ratio in full space

A. V. Zvyagin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging coherence-domain technique capable of in vivo imaging of sub-surface structures at millimeter-scale depth. Its steady progress over the last decade has been galvanized by a break-through detection concept, termed spectral-domain OCT, which has resulted in a dramatic improvement of the OCT signal-to-noise ratio of 150 times demonstrated for weakly scattering objects at video-frame-rates. As we have realized, however, an important OCT sub-system remains sub-optimal: the sample arm traditionally operates serially, i.e. in flying-spot mode. To realize the full-field image acquisition, a Fourier holography system illuminated with a swept-source is employed instead of a Michelson interferometer commonly used in OCT. The proposed technique, termed Fourier-domain OCT, offers a new leap in signal-to-noise ratio improvement, as compared to flying-spot OCT systems, and represents the main thrust of this paper. Fourier-domain OCT is described, and its basic theoretical aspects, including the reconstruction algorithm, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


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