The confocal imaging of stratified media (for example, thin-film structures) is investigated. A simple model is introduced for the imaging of a single layer in order to explore the axial resolution attainable. A rigorous model is also described and compared with experimental results from thin surface films. A theoretical treatment of imaging of stratified media with a continuously varying refractive index is presented, and the inverse problem of reconstructing the refractive-index profile from a confocal image is discussed.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 6, 1993
Revised Manuscript: September 21, 1993
Published: February 1, 1994
Colin J. R. Sheppard, T. John Connolly, Jin Lee, and Carol J. Cogswell, "Confocal imaging of a stratified medium," Appl. Opt. 33, 631-640 (1994)