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Creators/Authors contains: "Scopelliti, Matteo Giuseppe"

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  1. Abstract

    Ultrasonically-sculpted gradient-index optical waveguides enable non-invasive light confinement inside scattering media. The confinement level strongly depends on ultrasound parameters (e.g., amplitude, frequency), and medium optical properties (e.g., extinction coefficient). We develop a physically-accurate simulator, and use it to quantify these dependencies for a radially-symmetric virtual optical waveguide. Our analysis provides insights for optimizing virtual optical waveguides for given applications. We leverage these insights to configure virtual optical waveguides that improve light confinement fourfold compared to previous configurations at five mean free paths. We show that virtual optical waveguides enhance light throughput by 50% compared to an ideal external lens, in a medium with bladder-like optical properties at one transport mean free path. We corroborate these simulation findings with real experiments: we demonstrate, for the first time, that virtual optical waveguides recycle scattered light, and enhance light throughput by 15% compared to an external lens at five transport mean free paths.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. A conventional optical lens can be used to focus light into the target medium from outside, without disturbing the medium. The focused spot size is proportional to the focal distance in a conventional lens, resulting in a tradeoff between penetration depth in the target medium and spatial resolution. We have shown that virtual ultrasonically sculpted gradient-index (GRIN) optical waveguides can be formed in the target medium to steer light without disturbing the medium. Here, we demonstrate that such virtual waveguides can relay an externally focused Gaussian beam of light through the medium beyond the focal distance of a single external physical lens, to extend the penetration depth without compromising the spot size. Moreover, the spot size can be tuned by reconfiguring the virtual waveguide. We show that these virtual GRIN waveguides can be formed in transparent and turbid media, to enhance the confinement and contrast ratio of the focused beam of light at the target location. This method can be extended to realize complex optical systems of external physical lenses and in situ virtual waveguides, to extend the reach and flexibility of optical methods.

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  4. Abstract

    We demonstrate in situ non-invasive relay imaging through a medium without inserting physical optical components. We show that a virtual optical graded-index (GRIN) lens can be sculpted in the medium using in situ reconfigurable ultrasonic interference patterns to relay images through the medium. Ultrasonic wave patterns change the local density of the medium to sculpt a graded refractive index pattern normal to the direction of light propagation, which modulates the phase front of light, causing it to focus within the medium and effectively creating a virtual relay lens. We demonstrate the in situ relay imaging and resolving of small features (22 µm) through a turbid medium (optical thickness = 5.7 times the scattering mean free path), which is normally opaque. The focal distance and the numerical aperture of the sculpted optical GRIN lens can be tuned by changing the ultrasonic wave parameters. As an example, we experimentally demonstrate that the axial focal distance can be continuously scanned over a depth of 5.4 mm in the modulated medium and that the numerical aperture can be tuned up to 21.5%. The interaction of ultrasonic waves and light can be mediated through different physical media, including turbid media, such as biological tissue, in which the ultrasonically sculpted GRIN lens can be used for relaying images of the underlying structures through the turbid medium, thus providing a potential alternative to implanting invasive endoscopes.

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