Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Applied Physics & Instrumentation

First Advisor

Dr. Guillaume Huyet


This thesis aims to analyse the properties of optical coherence tomography swept sources, using fast real-time intensity and phase characterisation techniques for full electric field reconstruction. In the first part, these techniques are applied to analyse a commercial short cavity laser that exhibits mode hopping, sliding frequency mode locking or chaotic dynamical regime depending on the sweep speed and direction Numerical simulations of time-delayed differential equations display similar features and enable an understanding the underlying physics of the coherence properties of these light sources. In the second part of the thesis, a Fourier Domain Mode Locked (FDML) laser is built and analysed using techniques developed in the preceding part. In this laser, an intra-cavity tunable filter is tuned in resonance with the cavity round trip time in order to store and recycle the entire sweep at each round trip. Both experimental and theoretical analyses show that the main features of these lasers can be explained by those observed under the quasistatic tuning of the filter. In addition, it is shown that various instabilities can co-exhist within a sweep including the formation of convective solitons.

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