Breathtaking innovations in optical imaging have opened new exciting avenues for science, industry, and medicine over the last few decades. One of such innovations is optical time-stretch imaging—an emerging method for ultrafast optical imaging that builds on temporally stretching broadband pulses by using dispersive properties of light in both spatial and temporal domains. It achieves continuous image acquisition at an ultrahigh frame rate of 10–1000 million frames per second by overcoming technical and fundamental limitations that exist in traditional imaging methods. By virtue of its inherent affinity with optical signal processing, optical time-stretch imaging can be combined with various optical techniques such as amplification, nonlinear processing, compressive sensing, and pattern correlation to realize unique capabilities that are not possible with the traditional imaging methods. Applications enabled by such capabilities are versatile and include surface inspection, surface vibrometry, particle analysis, and cell screening. In this paper, we review the principles and limitations of conventional optical imaging, the principles and applications of optical time-stretch imaging, and discuss our future perspective.
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Review Article| February 04 2016
Optical time-stretch imaging: Principles and applications
Cheng Lei, Baoshan Guo, Zhenzhou Cheng, Keisuke Goda; Optical time-stretch imaging: Principles and applications. Appl. Phys. Rev. 1 March 2016; 3 (1): 011102. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4941050
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