Laser sources offer a potentially low-cost means of improving the light throughput in tandem-scanning confocal microscopy because of their high beam directionality. We measure and compare the optical sectioning characteristics of the tandem-scanning microscope (TSM) employing (i) the traditional choice of incoherent light from a Xe arc lamp and (ii) a cited alternative—coherent light from a He–Ne laser source. In general the laser source is found to result in axial responses with pronounced sidelobes, the sizes and locations of which are extremely sensitive to the alignment of the pinhole array. The implications of these results for practical TSM systems are discussed.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 3, 1997
Published: January 10, 1998
D. T. Fewer, S. J. Hewlett, and E. M. McCabe, "Laser sources in direct-view-scanning, tandem-scanning, or Nipkow-disk-scanning confocal microscopy," Appl. Opt. 37, 380-385 (1998)