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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 13, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 1996
  • pp: 479–482

Optical transfer functions for confocal theta fluorescence microscopy

Steffen Lindek and Ernst H. K. Stelzer  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp. 479-482 (1996)

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Optical transfer functions are presented for the confocal theta fluorescence microscope, which uses an orthogonally placed objective lens to detect the fluorescence emission. Therefore the transfer functions do not exhibit cylindrical symmetry about the illumination axis. We show that in an ideal noise-free system, confocal theta microscopy increases the cutoff spatial frequency along the illumination axis by a factor of 3.5 to 3.7 for a numerical aperture of 0.75. In a system with 10% noise the improvement by confocal theta microscopy is even greater, between a factor of 4.1 and 4.4. This explains the improved three-dimensional imaging properties of theta microscopy.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: June 12, 1995
Revised Manuscript: September 5, 1995
Manuscript Accepted: October 9, 1995
Published: March 1, 1996

Steffen Lindek and Ernst H. K. Stelzer, "Optical transfer functions for confocal theta fluorescence microscopy," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 479-482 (1996)

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  1. S. Lindek, E. H. K. Stelzer, “Confocal theta microscopy and 4Pi-confocal theta microscopy,” in Three-Dimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing, C. J. Cogswell, K. Carlsson, eds., Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Eng.2184, 188–194 (1994). [CrossRef]
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