OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 17, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2000
  • pp: 1–10

Enhancement of the point-spread function for imaging in scattering media by use of polarization-difference imaging

J. Scott Tyo  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 17, Issue 1, pp. 1-10 (2000)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (279 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Polarization-difference (PD) imaging techniques have been demonstrated to improve the detectability of target features that are embedded in scattering media. The improved detectability occurs for both passive imaging in moderately scattering media (<5 optical depths) and active imaging in more highly scattering media. These improvements are relative to what is possible with equivalent polarization-blind, polarization-sum (PS) imaging under the same conditions. In this investigation, the point-spread functions (PSF’s) for passive PS and PD imaging in single-scattering media are studied analytically, and Monte Carlo simulations are used to study the PSF’s in single- and moderately multiple-scattering media. The results indicate that the PD PSF can be significantly narrower than the corresponding PS PSF, implying that better images of target features with high-spatial-frequency information can be obtained by using differential polarimetry in scattering media. Although the analysis was performed for passive imaging at moderate optical depths, the results lend insight into experiments that have been performed in more highly scattering media with active imaging methods to help mitigate the effects of multiple scattering.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(070.2580) Fourier optics and signal processing : Paraxial wave optics
(110.0110) Imaging systems : Imaging systems
(110.7050) Imaging systems : Turbid media
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

Original Manuscript: October 26, 1998
Revised Manuscript: August 31, 1999
Manuscript Accepted: August 31, 1999
Published: January 1, 2000

J. Scott Tyo, "Enhancement of the point-spread function for imaging in scattering media by use of polarization-difference imaging," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1-10 (2000)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. B. A. Swartz, J. D. Cummings, “Laser range-gated underwater imaging including polarization discrimination,” in Underwater Imaging, Photography, and Visibility, R. W. Spinrad, ed., Proc. SPIE1537, 42–56 (1991). [CrossRef]
  2. S. K. Gayen, R. R. Alfano, “Emerging optical biomedical techniques,” Opt. Photon. News 7, 16–22 (March1996). [CrossRef]
  3. S. C. W. Hyde, N. P. Barry, R. Jones, J. C. Dainty, P. M. W. French, “High resolution depth resolved imaging through scattering media using time resolved holography,” Opt. Commun. 122, 111–116 (1996). [CrossRef]
  4. M. Kempe, W. Rudolph, E. Welsch, “Comparative study of confocal and heterodyne microscopy for imaging through scattering media,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 46–52 (1996). [CrossRef]
  5. A. Yodh, B. Chance, “Spectroscopy and imaging with diffusing light,” Phys. Today 48, 34–40 (March1995). [CrossRef]
  6. G. D. Gilbert, J. C. Pernicka, “Improvement of underwater visibility by reduction of backscatter with a circular polarization technique,” in Underwater Photo Optics I, A. B. Dember, ed., Proc. SPIE7, A-III-1–A-III-10 (1966).
  7. J. S. Tyo, M. P. Rowe, E. N. Pugh, N. Engheta, “Target detection in optically scattering media by polarization-difference imaging,” Appl. Opt. 35, 1855–1870 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. S. G. Demos, R. R. Alfano, “Temporal gating in highly scattering media by the degree of optical polarization,” Opt. Lett. 21, 161–163 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. W. B. Wang, S. G. Demos, J. Ali, R. R. Alfano, “Imaging fluorescent objects embedded inside animal tissues using polarization difference technique,” Opt. Commun. 142, 161–166 (1997). [CrossRef]
  10. J. F. de Boer, T. E. Milner, M. J. C. van Gemert, J. S. Nelson, “Two-dimensional birefringence imaging in biological tissue by polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography,” Opt. Lett. 22, 934–936 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. J. M. Harris, “The influence of random media on the propagation and depolarization of electromagnetic waves,” Ph.D. dissertation (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., 1980).
  12. Y. Kuga, A. Ishimaru, “Modulation transfer function and image transmission through randomly distributed spherical particles,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 2330–2335 (1985). [CrossRef]
  13. Y. Kuga, A. Ishimaru, “Modulation transfer function of layered inhomogeneous random media using the small-angle approximation,” Appl. Opt. 25, 4382–4385 (1986). [CrossRef]
  14. J. W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1968).
  15. Q. Ma, A. Ishimaru, “Propagation and depolarization of an arbitrarily polarized wave obliquely incident on a slab of random medium,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. 39, 1626–1632 (1991). [CrossRef]
  16. C. Brüning, R. Schmidt, W. Alpers, “Estimation of the ocean wave-radar modulation transfer function from synthetic aperture radar imagery,” J. Geophys. Res. C 99, 9803–9815 (1994). [CrossRef]
  17. A. Schmidt, V. Wismann, R. Romeiser, W. Alpers, “Simultaneous measurements of the ocean wave-radar modulation transfer function at L, C, and X bands from the research platform Nordsee,” J. Geophys. Res. C 100, 8815–8827 (1995). [CrossRef]
  18. K. Bhattacharya, A. Ghosh, A. K. Chakraborty, “Vector wave imagery with a lens masked by polarizers,” J. Mod. Opt. 40, 379–390 (1993). [CrossRef]
  19. J. S. Tyo, “Polarization difference imaging,” Ph.D. dissertation (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., 1997).
  20. S. G. Demos, W. B. Wang, R. R. Alfano, “Imaging objects hidden in scattering media with fluorescence polarization preservation of contrast agents,” Appl. Opt. 37, 792–797 (1998). [CrossRef]
  21. M. P. Rowe, E. N. Pugh, J. S. Tyo, N. Engheta, “Polarization-difference imaging: a biologically inspired technique for imaging in scattering media,” Opt. Lett. 20, 608–610 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. M. P. Silverman, W. Strange, “Light scattering from optically active and inactive turbid media,” in Proceedings of the IS&T/OSA Conference on Optics and Imaging in the Information Age (Society for Image Science and Technology, Springfield, Va., 1996), pp. 172–180.
  23. M. P. Silverman, W. Strange, “Object delineation within turbid media by backscattering of phase-modulated light,” Opt. Commun. 144, 7–11 (1997). [CrossRef]
  24. A. Ishimaru, Wave Propagation in Random Media (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 1978), Vol. 1, Chap. 4.
  25. G. E. Anderson, F. Liu, R. R. Alfano, “Microscope imaging through highly scattering media,” Opt. Lett. 19, 981–983 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. M. Gu, T. Tannous, J. R. Sheppard, “Effect of an annular pupil on confocal imaging through highly scattering media,” Opt. Lett. 21, 312–314 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. The apertures can be projected onto the intermediate plane without changing the results as long as the extent of the object is much smaller than the projected size of the limiting aperture of the system. When this condition is met, the vignetting can be ignored (see Ref. 14, chap. 5).
  28. For simplicity, the host medium in which the scatterers are embedded is assumed to be free space, although in general it is some other medium.
  29. E⇀sc(sˆ) must fall off as 1/r as one travels along the direction sˆ; the formulation in Eq. (2) gives the relative amplitude scattered in any direction at some constant distance from the scatterer. The 1/r fall-off will be taken into account, along with the system parameters, in the analysis that follows.
  30. J. A. Stratton, Electromagnetic Theory (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1941), Chaps. 7 and 9.
  31. rˆ and θˆ refer to the spherical unit vectors at the position rˆn with respect to the Cartesian coordinate system shown in Fig. 2.
  32. Strictly speaking, Eq. (12) does not follow directly from Eq. (11). Equation (11) states that there is an ideal E-field point source given by κ2E⇀δ(xf+xn)δ(zf+zn). This source can also be thought of as an ideal intensity point source given by κ2|E⇀|2δ(xf+xn)δ(zf+zn).
  33. The term polarization sum was introduced in Ref. 21. It is meant to differentiate between a true, polarization-blind image where intensity alone is measured and a sum image formed by adding the intensities obtained at orthogonal polarizations. The two concepts are completely equivalent, and the term PS image is retained to provide the reader with information concerning how a specific image was formed.
  34. L. G. Henyey, J. L. Greenstein, “Diffuse radiation in the galaxy,” Astrophys. J. 93, 70–83 (1941). [CrossRef]
  35. M. J. C. van Gemert, S. L. Jacques, H. J. C. M. Sterenborg, W. M. Star, “Skin optics,” IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 36, 1146–1154 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. L. L. Carter, E. D. Cashwell, Particle Transport Simulation with the Monte-Carlo Method (Technical Information Center, Energy Research and Development Association, Oak Ridge, Tenn., 1975).
  37. B. R. Frieden, Probability, Statistical Optics, and Data Testing, 2nd ed., (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1991), Chap. 7.
  38. This experiment investigates the PSF that is due to a linearly polarized source. The portion of the radiation that is unpolarized will not be imaged by PDI.
  39. L. M. Lampert, Modern Dairy Products (Chemical Publishing Co., New York, 1965).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited