Analog time-reversed ultrasonically encoded light focusing inside scattering media with a 33,000× optical power gain

Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 10;5:8896. doi: 10.1038/srep08896.


Recent breakthrough in wavefront engineering shows great promises in controlling light propagation inside scattering media. At present, the digital approaches enjoy high gain, while their speeds are slow because of high data throughputs. In contrast, the analog approaches are intrinsically fast but suffer from poor efficiencies and small gains. Further improvements in both speed and gain are necessary to advance the existing technologies toward real-world applications. Here, we report analog time-reversal of acousto-optically tagged photons with a flux amplification of over 33,000 times (45 dB) at a target location inside scattering media. Such a substantial power gain enhancement is achieved when the temporal width of the time-reversed photon packet is squeezed below the carrier-recombination-limited hologram decay time in a photorefractive crystal. Despite a focusing energy gain below unity, the unprecedented power gain is expected to enable new optical imaging, sensing, manipulation and treatment applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Light
  • Optics and Photonics*
  • Photons
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Sound*
  • Ultrasonics*