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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 34 — Dec. 1, 2000
  • pp: 6325–6331

Point-spread functions of a polarizing microscope equipped with high-numerical-aperture lenses

Rudolf Oldenbourg and Peter Török  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 34, pp. 6325-6331 (2000)

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In an effort to establish the imaging properties of a new type of polarized-light microscope, we recorded images of small, uniaxial, birefringent crystals. We show that the sequence of in-focus and out-of-focus images, the so-called point-spread function, of a submicroscopic crystal can be used to measure the orientation of its optic axis in three-dimensional space. By analogy to conoscopic images out-of-focus images reveal the changes in relative phase shift between the extraordinary and the ordinary rays that propagate at different directions through the crystal. We also present simulated images of a pointlike anisotropic scattering particle and compare these with our experimental findings. The theoretical model is based on a complete vectorial theory for partial coherent imaging by use of polarized light and high-numerical-aperture lenses.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1940) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(180.3170) Microscopy : Interference microscopy
(180.6900) Microscopy : Three-dimensional microscopy
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence

Original Manuscript: May 4, 2000
Revised Manuscript: August 16, 2000
Published: December 1, 2000

Rudolf Oldenbourg and Peter Török, "Point-spread functions of a polarizing microscope equipped with high-numerical-aperture lenses," Appl. Opt. 39, 6325-6331 (2000)

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