On-chip Mach-Zehnder interferometer for OCT systems

Ton G. Van Leeuwen*, Imran B. Akca, Nikolaos Angelou, Nicolas Weiss, Marcel Hoekman, Arne Leinse, Rene G. Heideman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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By using integrated optics, it is possible to reduce the size and cost of a bulky optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. One of the OCT components that can be implemented on-chip is the interferometer. In this work, we present the design and characterization of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer consisting of the wavelength-independent splitters and an on-chip reference arm. The Si3N4 was chosen as the material platform as it can provide low losses while keeping the device size small. The device was characterized by using a home-built swept source OCT system. A sensitivity value of 83 dB, an axial resolution of 15.2 μm (in air) and a depth range of 2.5 mm (in air) were all obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-106
Number of pages4
JournalAdvanced Optical Technologies
Issue number1-2
Early online date6 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2018


Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the IOP Photonic Devices program (managed by Agentschap NL), the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Veni (SH302031, managed by NWO-TTW) and by the Marie Sklo-dowska Curie Individual Fellowships (FOIPO 704364). We thank Frank Coumans for the design of the interferometer and Naser Hosseini for the simulations and the design of the mask set.

FundersFunder number
Innovational Research Incentives Scheme VeniSH302031
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme704364
Institute of Physics
Agentschap NL


    • Mach-Zehnder interferometer
    • on-chip
    • optical coherence tomography
    • silicon nitride


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