In this paper, we introduce a new form of cross-sectional, coherence-gated fluorescence imaging, which we term 'spectral-domain fluorescence coherence tomography' (SD-FCT). SD-FCT is accomplished by spectrally detecting self-interference of the spontaneous emission of fluorophores located along the axial (depth) dimension of the sample. We have built a first generation SD-FCT system that utilizes two opposing low numerical-aperture objective lenses in an interferometer and an imaging spectrometer for detecting self-interference of fluorescence emitted from a sample. Here, in proof-of-principle experiments we demonstrate cross-sectional profiling of layered fluorescence phantoms. Narrow (a few micrometers FWHM) axial point-spread functions, large ranging depths (a few hundreds of micrometers) and wide fields of view (>1 mm) were measured. Initial results suggest that SD-FCT may be a viable tool for the investigation of semi-transparent and selectively labeled fluorescent samples.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics