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Intensity correlation OCT -- a true classical equivalent of quantum OCT able to achieve up to 2-fold resolution improvement in standard OCT images

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posted on 2023-01-11, 21:46 authored by Sylwia M. Kolenderska, Piotr Kolenderski
Quantum Optical Coherence Tomography (Q-OCT) uses quantum properties of light to provide several advantages over its classical counterpart, OCT: it achieves a twice better axial resolution with the same spectral bandwidth and it is immune to even orders of dispersion. Since these features are very sought-after in OCT imaging, many hardware and software techniques have been created to mimic the quantum behaviour of light and achieve these features using traditional OCT systems. The most recent, purely algorithmic scheme - an improved version of Intensity Correlation Spectral Domain OCT named ICA-SD-OCT showed even-order dispersion cancellation and reduction of artefacts. The true capabilities of this method were unfortunately severely undermined, both in terms of its relation to Q-OCT and in terms of its main performance parameters. In this work, we provide experimental demonstrations as well as numerical and analytical arguments to show that ICA-SD-OCT is a true classical equivalent of Q-OCT, more specifically its Fourier domain version, and therefore it enables a true two-fold axial resolution improvement. We believe that clarification of all the misconceptions about this very promising algorithm will highlight the great value of this method for OCT and consequently lead to its practical applications for resolution- and quality-enhanced OCT imaging.

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