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Smart optical coherence tomography for ultra-deep imaging through highly scattering media

Abstract : Multiple scattering of waves in disordered media is a nightmare whether it be for detection or imaging purposes. The best approach so far to get rid of multiple scattering is optical coherence tomography. It basically combines confocal microscopy and coherence time-gating to discriminate ballistic photons from a predominant multiple scattering background. Nevertheless, the imaging depth range remains limited to 1 mm at best in human soft tissues. Here we propose a matrix approach of optical imaging to push back this fundamental limit. By combining a matrix discrimination of ballistic waves and iterative time-reversal, we show both theoretically and experimentally an extension of the imaging-depth limit by at least a factor two compared to optical coherence tomography. In particular, the reported experiment demonstrates imaging through a strongly scattering layer from which only one reflected photon over 1000 billion is ballistic. This approach opens a new route towards ultra-deep tissue imaging.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02772009
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Amaury Badon, Dayan Li, Geoffroy Lerosey, A. Claude Boccara, Mathias Fink, et al.. Smart optical coherence tomography for ultra-deep imaging through highly scattering media. Science Advances , American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2016, 2 (11), pp.e1600370. ⟨10.1126/sciadv.1600370⟩. ⟨hal-02772009⟩

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