2021 Vol. 10, No. 7

Light People
Light People: Professor Chennupati Jagadish
Hui Wang
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1146-1149 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00533-6
In 2018, the Indian film "Starting Line" focused the public's attention on the issue of education in India. It depicted the length some Indian parents were willing to go to secure educational resources for their children, as well as the difficulties faced by those disadvantaged in society in their fight for equal educational opportunities. In reality, many brilliant young Indian talents have been able to study in Australia through a fund set up by Prof. Chennupati Jagadish, a Distinguished Professor of the Australian National University. Prof. Jagadish is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2018 he was awarded a UNESCO Prize for his contribution to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology. He holds many positions, and has won numerous awards. What started Prof. Jagadish on his scientific research career? How did he become the respected scientist he is today? What was his intention in setting up the educational fund for students from developing countries? What advice does he have for young researchers? Here are the answers from Prof. Jagadish.
News & Views
eLighting up the future
Ling Lu
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1150-1151 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00555-0
What will be the cutting-edge photonics research in the coming decade? Prof. Chen and Segev share their perspective by highlighting quantum, topological, and AI photonics on eLight.
Planar liquid crystal polarization optics for near-eye displays
Yan-qing Lu, Yan Li
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1152-1154 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00567-w
As a promising candidate for next-generation mobile platforms, virtual reality and augmented reality have the potential to revolutionize the way we perceive and interact with various types of digital information. In the meantime, ultrathin planar liquid crystal polarization optics are enabling a new evolutionary trend in near-eye displays. A recent invited review paper published in eLight provides an insightful review on liquid crystal optical elements and their applications toward AR and VR.
Light-responsive and corrosion-resistant gas valve with non-thermal effective liquid-gating positional flow control
Baiyi Chen, Rongrong Zhang, Yaqi Hou, Jian Zhang, Shiyan Chen, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1155-1163 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00568-9
Safe and precise control of gas flow is one of the key factors to many physical and chemical processes, such as degassing, natural gas transportation, and gas sensor. In practical application, it is essential for the gas-involved physicochemical process to keep everything under control and safe, which significantly relies on the controllability, safety, and stability of their valves. Here we show a light-responsive and corrosion-resistant gas valve with non-thermal effective liquid-gating positional flow control under a constant pressure by incorporating dynamic gating liquid with light responsiveness of solid porous substrate. Our experimental and theoretical analysis reveal that the photoisomerization of azobenzene-based molecular photoswitches on the porous substrate enabled the gas valve to possess a light-responsive and reversible variation of substantial critical pressure of non-thermal effective gas flow switch. Moreover, the chemically inert gating liquid prevented the solid substrate from corrosion and, by combining with the high spatiotemporal resolution of light, the gas valve realizes a precisely positional open and close under a steady-state pressure. The application demonstrations in our results show the potentials of the new gas valve for bringing opportunities to many applications, such as gas-involved reaction control in microfluidics, soft actuators, and beyond.
Silicon/2D-material photodetectors: from near-infrared to mid-infrared
Chaoyue Liu, Jingshu Guo, Laiwen Yu, Jiang Li, Ming Zhang, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1164-1184 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00551-4
Two-dimensional materials (2DMs) have been used widely in constructing photodetectors (PDs) because of their advantages in flexible integration and ultrabroad operation wavelength range. Specifically, 2DM PDs on silicon have attracted much attention because silicon microelectronics and silicon photonics have been developed successfully for many applications. 2DM PDs meet the imperious demand of silicon photonics on low-cost, high-performance, and broadband photodetection. In this work, a review is given for the recent progresses of Si/2DM PDs working in the wavelength band from near-infrared to mid-infrared, which are attractive for many applications. The operation mechanisms and the device configurations are summarized in the first part. The waveguide-integrated PDs and the surface-illuminated PDs are then reviewed in details, respectively. The discussion and outlook for 2DM PDs on silicon are finally given.
Biophotonic probes for bio-detection and imaging
Ting Pan, Dengyun Lu, Hongbao Xin, Baojun Li
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1185-1206 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00561-2
The rapid development of biophotonics and biomedical sciences makes a high demand on photonic structures to be interfaced with biological systems that are capable of manipulating light at small scales for sensitive detection of biological signals and precise imaging of cellular structures. However, conventional photonic structures based on artificial materials (either inorganic or toxic organic) inevitably show incompatibility and invasiveness when interfacing with biological systems. The design of biophotonic probes from the abundant natural materials, particularly biological entities such as virus, cells and tissues, with the capability of multifunctional light manipulation at target sites greatly increases the biocompatibility and minimizes the invasiveness to biological microenvironment. In this review, advances in biophotonic probes for bio-detection and imaging are reviewed. We emphatically and systematically describe biological entities-based photonic probes that offer appropriate optical properties, biocompatibility, and biodegradability with different optical functions from light generation, to light transportation and light modulation. Three representative biophotonic probes, i.e., biological lasers, cell-based biophotonic waveguides and bio-microlenses, are reviewed with applications for bio-detection and imaging. Finally, perspectives on future opportunities and potential improvements of biophotonic probes are also provided.
Multiple fields manipulation on nitride material structures in ultraviolet light-emitting diodes
Jinchai Li, Na Gao, Duanjun Cai, Wei Lin, Kai Huang, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1207-1226 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00563-0
As demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, advanced deep ultraviolet (DUV) light sources (200–280 nm), such as AlGaN-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) show excellence in preventing virus transmission, which further reveals their wide applications from biological, environmental, industrial to medical. However, the relatively low external quantum efficiencies (mostly lower than 10%) strongly restrict their wider or even potential applications, which have been known related to the intrinsic properties of high Al-content AlGaN semiconductor materials and especially their quantum structures. Here, we review recent progress in the development of novel concepts and techniques in AlGaN-based LEDs and summarize the multiple physical fields as a toolkit for effectively controlling and tailoring the crucial properties of nitride quantum structures. In addition, we describe the key challenges for further increasing the efficiency of DUV LEDs and provide an outlook for future developments.
Creating heralded hyper-entangled photons using Rydberg atoms
Sutapa Ghosh, Nicholas Rivera, Gadi Eisenstein, Ido Kaminer
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1227-1235 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00537-2
Entangled photon pairs are a fundamental component for testing the foundations of quantum mechanics, and for modern quantum technologies such as teleportation and secured communication. Current state-of-the-art sources are based on nonlinear processes that are limited in their efficiency and wavelength tunability. This motivates the exploration of physical mechanisms for entangled photon generation, with a special interest in mechanisms that can be heralded, preferably at telecommunications wavelengths. Here we present a mechanism for the generation of heralded entangled photons from Rydberg atom cavity quantum electrodynamics (cavity QED). We propose a scheme to demonstrate the mechanism and quantify its expected performance. The heralding of the process enables non-destructive detection of the photon pairs. The entangled photons are produced by exciting a rubidium atom to a Rydberg state, from where the atom decays via two-photon emission (TPE). A Rydberg blockade helps to excite a single Rydberg excitation while the input light field is more efficiently collectively absorbed by all the atoms. The TPE rate is significantly enhanced by a designed photonic cavity, whose many resonances also translate into high-dimensional entanglement. The resulting high-dimensionally entangled photons are entangled in more than one degree of freedom: in all of their spectral components, in addition to the polarization—forming a hyper-entangled state, which is particularly interesting in high information capacity quantum communication. We characterize the photon comb states by analyzing the Hong-Ou-Mandel interference and propose proof-of-concept experiments.
Suppressing meta-holographic artifacts by laser coherence tuning
Yaniv Eliezer, Geyang Qu, Wenhong Yang, Yujie Wang, Hasan Yılmaz, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1236-1246 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00547-0
A metasurface hologram combines fine spatial resolution and large viewing angles with a planar form factor and compact size. However, it suffers coherent artifacts originating from electromagnetic cross-talk between closely packed meta-atoms and fabrication defects of nanoscale features. Here, we introduce an efficient method to suppress all artifacts by fine-tuning the spatial coherence of illumination. Our method is implemented with a degenerate cavity laser, which allows a precise and continuous tuning of the spatial coherence over a wide range, with little variation in the emission spectrum and total power. We find the optimal degree of spatial coherence to suppress the coherent artifacts of a meta-hologram while maintaining the image sharpness. This work paves the way to compact and dynamical holographic displays free of coherent defects.
Coherent interaction of atoms with a beam of light confined in a light cage
Flavie Davidson-Marquis, Julian Gargiulo, Esteban Gómez-López, Bumjoon Jang, Tim Kroh, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1247-1256 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00556-z
Controlling coherent interaction between optical fields and quantum systems in scalable, integrated platforms is essential for quantum technologies. Miniaturised, warm alkali-vapour cells integrated with on-chip photonic devices represent an attractive system, in particular for delay or storage of a single-photon quantum state. Hollow-core fibres or planar waveguides are widely used to confine light over long distances enhancing light-matter interaction in atomic-vapour cells. However, they suffer from inefficient filling times, enhanced dephasing for atoms near the surfaces, and limited light-matter overlap. We report here on the observation of modified electromagnetically induced transparency for a non-diffractive beam of light in an on-chip, laterally-accessible hollow-core light cage. Atomic layer deposition of an alumina nanofilm onto the light-cage structure was utilised to precisely tune the high-transmission spectral region of the light-cage mode to the operation wavelength of the atomic transition, while additionally protecting the polymer against the corrosive alkali vapour. The experiments show strong, coherent light-matter coupling over lengths substantially exceeding the Rayleigh range. Additionally, the stable non-degrading performance and extreme versatility of the light cage provide an excellent basis for a manifold of quantum-storage and quantum-nonlinear applications, highlighting it as a compelling candidate for all-on-chip, integrable, low-cost, vapour-based photon delay.
Top-emitting thermally activated delayed fluorescence organic light-emitting devices with weak light-matter coupling
Chunxiu Zang, Shihao Liu, Mengxin Xu, Ruifang Wang, Chen Cao, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1257-1266 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00559-w
Resonance interaction between a molecular transition and a confined electromagnetic field can lead to weak or strong light-matter coupling. Considering the substantial exciton–phonon coupling in thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) materials, it is thus interesting to explore whether weak light-matter coupling can be used to redistribute optical density of states and to change the rate of radiative decay. Here, we demonstrate that the emission distribution of TADF emitters can be reshaped and narrowed in a top-emitting organic light-emitting device (OLED) with a weakly coupled microcavity. The Purcell effect of weak microcavity is found to be different for TADF emitters with different molecular orientations. We demonstrate that radiative rates of the TADF emitters with vertical orientation can be substantial increased in weakly coupled organic microcavity. These observations can enhance external quantum efficiencies, reduce efficiency roll-off, and improve color-purities of TADF OLEDs, especially for emitters without highly horizontal orientation.
Demonstration of epitaxial growth of strain-relaxed GaN films on graphene/SiC substrates for long wavelength light-emitting diodes
Ye Yu, Tao Wang, Xiufang Chen, Lidong Zhang, Yang Wang, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1267-1274 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00560-3
Strain modulation is crucial for heteroepitaxy such as GaN on foreign substrates. Here, the epitaxy of strain-relaxed GaN films on graphene/SiC substrates by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition is demonstrated. Graphene was directly prepared on SiC substrates by thermal decomposition. Its pre-treatment with nitrogen-plasma can introduce C–N dangling bonds, which provides nucleation sites for subsequent epitaxial growth. The scanning transmission electron microscopy measurements confirm that part of graphene surface was etched by nitrogen-plasma. We study the growth behavior on different areas of graphene surface after pre-treatment, and propose a growth model to explain the epitaxial growth mechanism of GaN films on graphene. Significantly, graphene is found to be effective to reduce the biaxial stress in GaN films and the strain relaxation improves indium-atom incorporation in InGaN/GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) active region, which results in the obvious red-shift of light-emitting wavelength of InGaN/GaN MQWs. This work opens up a new way for the fabrication of GaN-based long wavelength light-emitting diodes.
Forward stimulated Brillouin scattering and opto-mechanical non-reciprocity in standard polarization maintaining fibres
Gil Bashan, Hilel Hagai Diamandi, Yosef London, Kavita Sharma, Keren Shemer, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1275-1288 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00557-y
Opto-mechanical interactions in guided wave media are drawing great interest in fundamental research and applications. Forward stimulated Brillouin scattering, in particular, is widely investigated in optical fibres and photonic integrated circuits. In this work, we report a comprehensive study of forward stimulated Brillouin scattering over standard, panda-type polarization maintaining fibres. We distinguish between intra-polarization scattering, in which two pump tones are co-polarized along one principal axis, and inter-polarization processes driven by orthogonally polarized pump waves. Both processes are quantified in analysis, calculations and experiment. Inter-modal scattering, in particular, introduces cross-polarization switching of probe waves that is non-reciprocal. Switching takes place in multiple wavelength windows. The results provide a first demonstration of opto-mechanical non-reciprocity of forward scatter in standard fibre. The inter-polarization process is applicable to distributed sensors of media outside the cladding and coating boundaries, where light cannot reach. The process may be scaled towards forward Brillouin lasers, optical isolators and circulators and narrowband microwave-photonic filters over longer sections of off-the-shelf polarization maintaining fibres.
Synthesis and dissociation of soliton molecules in parallel optical-soliton reactors
Wenbin He, Meng Pang, Dung-Han Yeh, Jiapeng Huang, Philip. St. J. Russell
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1289-1303 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00558-x
Mode-locked lasers have been widely used to explore interactions between optical solitons, including bound-soliton states that may be regarded as "photonic molecules". Conventional mode-locked lasers normally, however, host at most only a few solitons, which means that stochastic behaviours involving large numbers of solitons cannot easily be studied under controlled experimental conditions. Here we report the use of an optoacoustically mode-locked fibre laser to create hundreds of temporal traps or "reactors" in parallel, within each of which multiple solitons can be isolated and controlled both globally and individually using all-optical methods. We achieve on-demand synthesis and dissociation of soliton molecules within these reactors, in this way unfolding a novel panorama of diverse dynamics in which the statistics of multi-soliton interactions can be studied. The results are of crucial importance in understanding dynamical soliton interactions and may motivate potential applications for all-optical control of ultrafast light fields in optical resonators.
Observing quantum coherence from photons scattered in free-space
Shihan Sajeed, Thomas Jennewein
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1304-1312 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00565-y
Quantum channels in free-space, an essential prerequisite for fundamental tests of quantum mechanics and quantum technologies in open space, have so far been based on direct line-of-sight because the predominant approaches for photon-encoding, including polarization and spatial modes, are not compatible with randomly scattered photons. Here we demonstrate a novel approach to transfer and recover quantum coherence from scattered, non-line-of-sight photons analyzed in a multimode and imaging interferometer for time-bins, combined with photon detection based on a 8 × 8 single-photon-detector-array. The observed time-bin visibility for scattered photons remained at a high 95% over a wide scattering angle range of −450 to +450, while the individual pixels in the detector array resolve or track an image in its field of view of ca. 0.5°. Using our method, we demonstrate the viability of two novel applications. Firstly, using scattered photons as an indirect channel for quantum communication thereby enabling non-line-of-sight quantum communication with background suppression, and secondly, using the combined arrival time and quantum coherence to enhance the contrast of low-light imaging and laser ranging under high background light. We believe our method will instigate new lines for research and development on applying photon coherence from scattered signals to quantum sensing, imaging, and communication in free-space environments.
Structural and compositional analysis of (InGa)(AsSb)/GaAs/GaP Stranski–Krastanov quantum dots
Raja S. R. Gajjela, Arthur L. Hendriks, James O. Douglas, Elisa M. Sala, Petr Steindl, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1313-1325 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00564-z
We investigated metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy grown (InGa)(AsSb)/GaAs/GaP Stranski–Krastanov quantum dots (QDs) with potential applications in QD-Flash memories by cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy (X-STM) and atom probe tomography (APT). The combination of X-STM and APT is a very powerful approach to study semiconductor heterostructures with atomic resolution, which provides detailed structural and compositional information on the system. The rather small QDs are found to be of truncated pyramid shape with a very small top facet and occur in our sample with a very high density of 4 × 1011 cm−2. APT experiments revealed that the QDs are GaAs rich with smaller amounts of In and Sb. Finite element (FE) simulations are performed using structural data from X-STM to calculate the lattice constant and the outward relaxation of the cleaved surface. The composition of the QDs is estimated by combining the results from X-STM and the FE simulations, yielding InxGa1 − xAs1 − ySby, where x = 0.25–0.30 and y = 0.10–0.15. Noticeably, the reported composition is in good agreement with the experimental results obtained by APT, previous optical, electrical, and theoretical analysis carried out on this material system. This confirms that the InGaSb and GaAs layers involved in the QD formation have strongly intermixed. A detailed analysis of the QD capping layer shows the segregation of Sb and In from the QD layer, where both APT and X-STM show that the Sb mainly resides outside the QDs proving that Sb has mainly acted as a surfactant during the dot formation. Our structural and compositional analysis provides a valuable insight into this novel QD system and a path for further growth optimization to improve the storage time of the QD-Flash memory devices.
In-situ diagnostic of femtosecond laser probe pulses for high resolution ultrafast imaging
Chen Xie, Remi Meyer, Luc Froehly, Remo Giust, Francois Courvoisier
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1326-1338 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00562-1
Ultrafast imaging is essential in physics and chemistry to investigate the femtosecond dynamics of nonuniform samples or of phenomena with strong spatial variations. It relies on observing the phenomena induced by an ultrashort laser pump pulse using an ultrashort probe pulse at a later time. Recent years have seen the emergence of very successful ultrafast imaging techniques of single non-reproducible events with extremely high frame rate, based on wavelength or spatial frequency encoding. However, further progress in ultrafast imaging towards high spatial resolution is hampered by the lack of characterization of weak probe beams. For pump–probe experiments realized within solids or liquids, because of the difference in group velocities between pump and probe, the determination of the absolute pump–probe delay depends on the sample position. In addition, pulse-front tilt is a widespread issue, unacceptable for ultrafast imaging, but which is conventionally very difficult to evaluate for the low-intensity probe pulses. Here we show that a pump-induced micro-grating generated from the electronic Kerr effect provides a detailed in-situ characterization of a weak probe pulse. It allows solving the two issues of absolute pump–probe delay determination and pulse-front tilt detection. Our approach is valid whatever the transparent medium with non-negligible Kerr index, whatever the probe pulse polarization and wavelength. Because it is nondestructive and fast to perform, this in-situ probe diagnostic can be repeated to calibrate experimental conditions, particularly in the case where complex wavelength, spatial frequency or polarization encoding is used. We anticipate that this technique will enable previously inaccessible spatiotemporal imaging in a number of fields of ultrafast science at the micro- and nanoscale.
Operando monitoring transition dynamics of responsive polymer using optofluidic microcavities
Da-Quan Yang, Jin-hui Chen, Qi-Tao Cao, Bing Duan, Hao-Jing Chen, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1339-1346 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00570-1
Optical microcavities have become an attractive platform for precision measurement with merits of ultrahigh sensitivity, miniature footprint and fast response. Despite the achievements of ultrasensitive detection, optical microcavities still face significant challenges in the measurement of biochemical and physical processes with complex dynamics, especially when multiple effects are present. Here we demonstrate operando monitoring of the transition dynamics of a phase-change material via a self-referencing optofluidic microcavity. We use a pair of cavity modes to precisely decouple the refractive index and temperature information of the analyte during the phase-transition process. Through real-time measurements, we reveal the detailed hysteresis behaviors of refractive index during the irreversible phase transitions between hydrophilic and hydrophobic states. We further extract the phase-transition threshold by analyzing the steady-state refractive index change at various power levels. Our technology could be further extended to other materials and provide great opportunities for exploring on-demand dynamic biochemical processes.
High spectro-temporal compression on a nonlinear CMOS-chip
Ju Won Choi, Ezgi Sahin, Byoung-Uk Sohn, George F. R. Chen, Doris K. T. Ng, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1347-1361 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00572-z
Optical pulses are fundamentally defined by their temporal and spectral properties. The ability to control pulse properties allows practitioners to efficiently leverage them for advanced metrology, high speed optical communications and attosecond science. Here, we report 11× temporal compression of 5.8 ps pulses to 0.55 ps using a low power of 13.3 W. The result is accompanied by a significant increase in the pulse peak power by 9.4×. These results represent the strongest temporal compression demonstrated to date on a complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) chip. In addition, we report the first demonstration of on-chip spectral compression, 3.0× spectral compression of 480 fs pulses, importantly while preserving the pulse energy. The strong compression achieved at low powers harnesses advanced on-chip device design, and the strong nonlinear properties of backend-CMOS compatible ultra-silicon-rich nitride, which possesses absence of two-photon absorption and 500× larger nonlinear parameter than in stoichiometric silicon nitride waveguides. The demonstrated work introduces an important new paradigm for spectro-temporal compression of optical pulses toward turn-key, on-chip integrated systems for all-optical pulse control.
X-ray-charged bright persistent luminescence in NaYF4: Ln3+@NaYF4 nanoparticles for multidimensional optical information storage
Yixi Zhuang, Dunrong Chen, Wenjing Chen, Wenxing Zhang, Xin Su, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1362-1371 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00575-w
NaYF4: Ln3+, due to its outstanding upconversion characteristics, has become one of the most important luminescent nanomaterials in biological imaging, optical information storage, and anticounterfeiting applications. However, the large specific surface area of NaYF4: Ln3+ nanoparticles generally leads to serious nonradiative transitions, which may greatly hinder the discovery of new optical functionality with promising applications. In this paper, we report that monodispersed nanoscale NaYF4: Ln3+, unexpectedly, can also be an excellent persistent luminescent (PersL) material. The NaYF4: Ln3+ nanoparticles with surface-passivated core–shell structures exhibit intense X-ray-charged PersL and narrow-band emissions tunable from 480 to 1060 nm. A mechanism for PersL in NaYF4: Ln3+ is proposed by means of thermoluminescence measurements and host-referred binding energy (HRBE) scheme, which suggests that some lanthanide ions (such as Tb) may also act as effective electron traps to achieve intense PersL. The uniform and spherical NaYF4: Ln3+ nanoparticles are dispersible in solvents, thus enabling many applications that are not accessible for traditional PersL phosphors. A new 3-dimensional (2 dimensions of planar space and 1 dimension of wavelength) optical information-storage application is demonstrated by inkjet-printing multicolor PersL nanoparticles. The multicolor persistent luminescence, as an emerging and promising emissive mode in NaYF4: Ln3+, will provide great opportunities for nanomaterials to be applied to a wider range of fields.
Shot-noise limited, supercontinuum-based optical coherence tomography
Shreesha Rao D.S., Mikkel Jensen, Lars Grüner-Nielsen, Jesper Toft Olsen, Peter Heiduschka, et al.
Published. 2021, 10(7) : 1372-1384 doi: 10.1038/s41377-021-00574-x
We present the first demonstration of shot-noise limited supercontinuum-based spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) with an axial resolution of 5.9 μm at a center wavelength of 1370 nm. Current supercontinuum-based SD-OCT systems cannot be operated in the shot-noise limited detection regime because of severe pulse-to-pulse relative intensity noise of the supercontinuum source. To overcome this disadvantage, we have developed a low-noise supercontinuum source based on an all-normal dispersion (ANDi) fiber, pumped by a femtosecond laser. The noise performance of our 90 MHz ANDi fiber-based supercontinuum source is compared to that of two commercial sources operating at 80 and 320 MHz repetition rate. We show that the low-noise of the ANDi fiber-based supercontinuum source improves the OCT images significantly in terms of both higher contrast, better sensitivity, and improved penetration. From SD-OCT imaging of skin, retina, and multilayer stacks we conclude that supercontinuum-based SD-OCT can enter the domain of shot-noise limited detection.