The optical transfer function (OTF) is used in describing imaging systems in the Fourier domain. So far the calculation of the OTF of a large-aperture imaging system has been difficult because the vectorial nature of light breaks the cylindrical symmetry of the pupil function. We derive a simple line integral solution for calculating the vectorial three-dimensional OTF. We further extend this approach to imaging through a planar interface of two media with mismatched refractive indices. In general, our formalism allows for calculation of the Fourier transform of any product of two arbitrary vector components of the electromagnetic field. Arbitrary phase or amplitude modifications of the pupil function can be taken into account.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 27, 2001
Revised Manuscript: May 3, 2002
Manuscript Accepted: May 7, 2002
Published: October 1, 2002
Andreas Schönle and Stefan W. Hell, "Calculation of vectorial three-dimensional transfer functions in large-angle focusing systems," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 2121-2126 (2002)