Abstract

The performance of ultrafast time-stretch imaging at long wavelengths (beyond 1.5 μm) has suffered from low detection sensitivity due to the increasing loss of optical dispersive fibers. Here, we report an ultrafast optical imaging system with a line scan rate of 19  MHz at the 2.0-μm wavelength window by combining second-harmonic generation (SHG) with the highly sensitive time-stretch detection at 1.0 μm. In this imaging system, the sample is illuminated by the pulsed laser source at 2.0 μm in the spectrally encoding manner. After SHG, the encoded spectral signal at 2.0 μm is converted to 1.0 μm and then mapped to the time domain through a highly dispersive fiber at 1.0 μm, which provides a superior dispersion-to-loss ratio of 53  ps/nm/dB, 50  times larger than that of the standard fibers at 2.0 μm (typically 1.1  ps/nm/dB). These efforts make it possible for time-stretch technology not only being translated to longer wavelengths, where unique optical absorption contrast exists, but also benefitting from the high detection sensitivity at shorter wavelengths.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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