Optoacoustics (OA) is overwhelmingly implemented in the Time Domain (TD) to achieve high signal-to-noise ratios by maximizing the excitation light energy transient. Implementations in the Frequency Domain (FD) have been proposed, but suffer from low signal-to-noise ratios and have not offered competitive advantages over time domain methods to reach high dissemination. It is therefore commonly believed that TD is the optimal way to perform optoacoustics. Here we introduce an optoacoustic concept based on pulse train illumination and frequency domain multiplexing and theoretically demonstrate the superior merits of the approach compared to the time domain. Then, using recent advances in laser diode illumination, we launch Frequency Wavelength Multiplexing Optoacoustic Tomography (FWMOT), at multiple wavelengths, and experimentally showcase how FWMOT optimizes the signal-to-noise ratios of spectral measurements over time-domain methods in phantoms and in vivo. We further find that FWMOT offers the fastest multi-spectral operation ever demonstrated in optoacoustics.

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