Observation of laser pulse propagation in optical fibers with a SPAD camera

Warburton, R. et al. (2017) Observation of laser pulse propagation in optical fibers with a SPAD camera. Scientific Reports, 7, 43302. (doi: 10.1038/srep43302) (PMID:28266554) (PMCID:PMC5339868)

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Recording processes and events that occur on sub-nanosecond timescales poses a difficult challenge. Conventional ultrafast imaging techniques often rely on long data collection times, which can be due to limited device sensitivity and/or the requirement of scanning the detection system to form an image. In this work, we use a single-photon avalanche detector array camera with pico-second timing accuracy to detect photons scattered by the cladding in optical fibers. We use this method to film supercontinuum generation and track a GHz pulse train in optical fibers. We also show how the limited spatial resolution of the array can be improved with computational imaging. The single-photon sensitivity of the camera and the absence of scanning the detection system results in short total acquisition times, as low as a few seconds depending on light levels. Our results allow us to calculate the group index of different wavelength bands within the supercontinuum generation process. This technology can be applied to a range of applications, e.g., the characterization of ultrafast processes, time-resolved fluorescence imaging, three-dimensional depth imaging, and tracking hidden objects around a corner.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Faccio, Professor Daniele and Clerici, Professor Matteo
Authors: Warburton, R., Aniculaesei, C., Clerici, M., Altmann, Y., Gariepy, G., McCracken, R., Reid, D., McLaughlin, S., Petrovich, M., Hayes, J., Henderson, R., Faccio, D., and Leach, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Published Online:07 March 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 7:43302
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a creative commons license
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
6672319UK Quantum Technology Hub in Enhanced Quantum ImagingMiles PadgettEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M01326X/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY