Water wavenumber calibration for visible light optical coherence tomography

Tingwei Zhang, Aaron M. Kho, Vivek J. Srinivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


SIGNIFICANCE: Visible light optical coherence tomography (OCT) is emerging for spectroscopic and ultrahigh resolution imaging, but challenges remain. Depth-dependent dispersion limits retinal image quality and current correction approaches are cumbersome. Inconsistent group refractive indices during image reconstruction also limit reproducibility. AIM: To introduce and evaluate water wavenumber calibration (WWC), which corrects depth-dependent dispersion and provides an accurate depth axis in water. APPROACH: Enabled by a visible light OCT spectrometer configuration with a 3- to 4-dB sensitivity roll-off over 1 mm in air across a 90-nm bandwidth, we determine the spectral phase of a 1-mm water cell, an affine function of water wavenumber. Via WWC, we reconstruct visible light OCT human retinal images with 1.3-μm depth resolution in water. RESULTS: Images clearly reveal Bruch's membrane, inner plexiform layer lamination, and a thin nerve fiber layer in the temporal parafovea. WWC halves the processing time, while achieving the same image definition as an assumption-free gold standard approach, suggesting that water wavenumber is a suitable proxy for tissue wavenumber. WWC also provides a depth axis in water without explicitly assuming a group refractive index. CONCLUSIONS: WWC is a simple method that helps to realize the full potential of visible light OCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • dispersion compensation
  • optical coherence tomography
  • retinal imaging
  • wavenumber calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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