Image blur in acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTF’s) has been a persistent problem. Here we describe the connection between transducer structure and image blur and experimentally measure it by using a 5-cm 12°-cut TeO2 crystal of our design. With these quantitative results, we develop an image-processing method that minimizes AOTF-related image degradation. The combination of long crystal design and image processing results in substantially improved image contrast and spatial resolution relative to conventional AOTF imaging devices. We present high-magnification images of fluorescent actin fibers in cells in which we obtain a resolution of approximately 0.35 μm, representing the first successful use of an AOTF for ultra-high-resolution microscopy. Further improvements are also predicted.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 29, 1995
Revised Manuscript: March 4, 1996
Published: September 1, 1996
Elliot S. Wachman, Wen-hua Niu, and Daniel L. Farkas, "Imaging acousto-optic tunable filter with 0.35-micrometer spatial resolution," Appl. Opt. 35, 5220-5226 (1996)