Burst-mode pulse interferometry for enabling low-noise multi-channel optical detection of ultrasound.

© 2022 Optica Publishing Group under the terms of the Optica Open Access Publishing Agreement© 2019 Optics Express, OSA publishing.

Ultrasound detection via optical resonators can achieve high levels of miniaturization and sensitivity as compared to piezoelectric detectors, but its scale-up from a single detector to an array is highly challenging. While the use of wideband sources may enable parallel interrogation of multiple resonators, it comes at the cost of reduction in the optical power, and ultimately in sensitivity, per channel. In this work we have developed a new interferometric approach to overcome this signal loss by using high-power bursts that are synchronized with the time window in which ultrasound detection is performed. Each burst is composed of a train of low-noise optical pulses which are sufficiently wideband to interrogate an array of resonators with non-overlapping spectra. We demonstrate our method, termed burst-mode pulse interferometry, for interrogating a single resonator in which the optical power was reduced to emulate the power loss per channel that occurs in parallel interrogation of 20 to 200 resonators. The use of bursts has led to up 25-fold improvement in sensitivity without affecting the shape of the acoustic signals, potentially enabling parallel low-noise interrogation of resonator arrays with a single source.

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The optical signal at the CM (blue) and BM (red)

Fig. The optical signal at the CM (blue) and BM (red) of the CRF output in the transition from the unlocked stated, in which the CRF blocks the optical pulses, to the locked state in which the CRF transmits the optical pulses and blocks only the ASE. Each of the spikes in the locked BM channel represents a burst with a width of 10 µs, shown in detail in Fig. 2(d), where the burst repletion rate was 8 kHz.

Oleg Volodarsky, Yoav Hazan, Michael Nagli, and Amir Rosenthal.
Optics Express, Volume 30, Issue 6, Pages 8959-8973