3D Imaging over 1-meter with 15µm resolution

Dr. Zhao Wang and the group of James G. Fujimoto at MIT recently published a groundbreaking Optica paper in which 3D tomographic volumetric imaging (OCT imaging) was performed over a full one-meter-cubed volume, with 15 micron axial resolution.

MIT Mannequin and Chess Board

Mannequin and chess board imaged at 15 micron resolution.

Bicycle 3D OCT image

Dr. David Huang’s old bicycle, left in the Fujimoto lab years ago, finds new purpose.

The astonishing result was enabled by a Praevium 1310nm MEMS-VCSEL laser light source, which has been shown to have an optical coherence length of hundreds of meters [JLT 2015]. Typical OCT light sources have coherence lengths in the millimeter range, rendering such long-range imaging unfeasible. In addition, the extremely high-speed detection required for acquiring the long-range interferogram was enabled by an Acacia Networks silicon-photonics dual-quadrature receiver chip.

Depth-colored volumetric imaging

Tomographic imaging captures high-resolution details within and through the objects, not just surface topology. These bottles are situated in front of a metal optical table; color-coding indicates depth of the surface.

Imaging and animated cross-sectioning of a skull.

Imaging and animated cross-sectioning of a skull, illustrating the post-processing analysis that can be performed on the volumetric data.

The full journal article is freely available here: Optica Vol. 3, Issue 12, p.1496 (2016) (open-access)

Dr. Wang also presented these results at BIOS/SPIE Photonics West 2016; view the presentation at SPIE with your conference login:
Miniaturized silicon photonic integrated swept source OCT receiver with dual polarization, dual balanced, in-phase and quadrature detection (Conference Presentation)

Proc. SPIE 9697, Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedicine XX, 96970M (April 26, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2214615


Summaries of the result and it’s impact on industrial imaging can be found at numerous journalistic outlets:

BioOptics World: Optical Coherence Tomography: Bio and beyond – OCT advance breaks barriers in imaging scale, cost

• PhysOrg: Researchers achieve meter-scale optical coherence tomography for first time

• Other syndications: BusinessWireDigital Journal, Yahoo! India, BioSpace, MarketWatch, Eyewire Today