A Kufcsák, P Bagnaninchi, A T Erdogan, R K Henderson, N Krstajić.
We present a first spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) system deploying a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) based, time-resolved line sensor. The sensor with 1024 pixels achieves a sensitivity of 87 dB at an A-scan rate of 1 kHz using a supercontinuum laser source with a repetition rate of 20 MHz, 38 nm bandwidth, and 2 mW power at 850 nm centre wavelength. In the time-resolved mode of the sensor, the system combines low-coherence interferometry (LCI) and massively parallel time-resolved single-photon counting to control the detection of interference spectra on the single-photon level based on the time-of-arrival of photons. For proof of concept demonstration of the combined detection scheme we show the acquisition of time-resolved interference spectra and the reconstruction of OCT images from selected time bins. Then, we exemplify the temporal discrimination feature with 50 ps time resolution and 249 ps timing uncertainty by removing unwanted reflections from along the optical path at a 30 mm distance from the sample. The current limitations of the proposed technique in terms of sensor parameters are analysed and potential improvements are identified for advanced photonic applications.