Abstract

In the present Letter, a synthesized pseudothermal light source having high temporal coherence (TC) and low spatial coherence (SC) properties is used. The longitudinal coherence (LC) properties of the spatially extended monochromatic light source are systematically studied. The pseudothermal light source is generated from two different monochromatic laser sources: He–Ne (at 632 nm) and DPSS (at 532 nm). It was found that the LC length of such a light source becomes independent of the parent laser’s TC length for a large source size. For the chosen lasers, the LC length becomes constant to about 30 μm for a laser source size of 3.3mm. Thus, by appropriately choosing the source size, any monochromatic laser light source depending on the biological window can be utilized to obtain high axial resolution in an optical coherence tomography (OCT) system irrespective of its TC length. The axial resolution of 650 nm was obtained using a 1.2 numerical aperture objective lens at a 632 nm wavelength. These findings pave the path for widespread penetration of pseudothermal light into existing OCT systems with enhanced performance. A pseudothermal light source with high TC and low SC properties could be an attractive alternative light source for achieving high axial resolution without needing dispersion compensation as compared to a broadband light source.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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