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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 4 — Feb. 1, 1999
  • pp: 724–732

Highly efficient optical detection of surface-generated fluorescence

Jörg Enderlein, Thomas Ruckstuhl, and Stefan Seeger  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 4, pp. 724-732 (1999)

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We present a theoretical study of a new highly efficient system for optical light collection, designed for ultrasensitive fluorescence detection of surface-bound molecules. The main core of the system is a paraboloid glass segment acting as a mirror for collecting the fluorescence. A special feature of the system is its ability to sample not only fluorescence that is emitted below the angle of total internal reflection (the critical angle) but also particularly the light above the critical angle. As shown, this is especially advantageous for collecting the fluorescence of surface-bound molecules. A comparison is made with conventional high-aperture microscope objectives. Furthermore, it is shown that the system allows not only for highly efficient light collection but also for confocal imaging of the detection region, which is of great importance for rejecting scattered light in potential applications such as the detection of only a few molecules.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(080.2740) Geometric optics : Geometric optical design
(110.0180) Imaging systems : Microscopy
(120.1880) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Detection
(170.2520) Medical optics and biotechnology : Fluorescence microscopy

Original Manuscript: July 13, 1998
Revised Manuscript: November 3, 1998
Published: February 1, 1999

Jörg Enderlein, Thomas Ruckstuhl, and Stefan Seeger, "Highly efficient optical detection of surface-generated fluorescence," Appl. Opt. 38, 724-732 (1999)

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