Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Optics express, Volume 26, Issue 6, p.7253-7269 (2018)
We present a class of novel system characterization methods for spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) particularly on getting optimized axial resolution performance. Our schemes uniquely utilize the autocorrelation interference response, also known as the self-interference product, which is generated by the optical fields from the imaging sample in automatic interferences. In our methods, an autocorrelation-inducing calibration sample was prepared which was made by sandwiching glass plates. OCT images of the calibration sample were captured by an SD-OCT system under testing. And the image data were processed to find various system characteristics based on the unique properties of autocorrelation interferograms, free of dispersion- and polarization-involved modulations. First, we could analyze the sampling characteristic of the SD-OCT's spectrometer for spectral calibration that enables accurate linear-k resampling of detected spectral fringes. Second, we could obtain the systematic polarization properties for quantifying their impact on the achieved axial resolutions. We found that our methods based on the autocorrelation response provide an easy way of self-characterization and self-validation that is useful in optimizing and maintaining axial resolution performances. It was found very attractive that a variety of system characteristics can be obtained in a single-shot measurement without any increased system complexity.