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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 29, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 2012
  • pp: 2242–2246

How low can STED go? Comparison of different write-erase beam combinations for stimulated emission depletion microscopy

Svetlana N. Khonina and Ilya Golub  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 29, Issue 10, pp. 2242-2246 (2012)

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We compare different beam combinations for stimulated emission depletion microscopy. The four considered copolarized, mutually symmetric, but complementary write + erase beam combinations are circularly polarized beam + circularly polarized vortex with charge + 1 or 1 , azimuthally polarized with a vortex + azimuthally polarized, and radially polarized beam + radially polarized with a vortex. The resulting fluorescent spot was calculated for plane incident pump and erase beams, for plane waves with added high NA annular ring apertures, and when both incident beams were optimized with amplitude–phase masks. For all three incident wave cases, the azimuthal polarization combination consistently produces spots 15%–30% smaller than the commonly used, circularly polarized light combination (the first from above). The two other polarization combinations produce even smaller, of the order of nanometers / 0.003 λ , fluorescent spots with a caveat of having nonzero erase beam intensity in the center. Nevertheless, these combinations can be advantageous when exploiting PF, i.e., using molecules that respond solely to the longitudinal (or only to transversal) component of the illuminating field.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(100.6640) Image processing : Superresolution
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(210.0210) Optical data storage : Optical data storage
(230.0230) Optical devices : Optical devices
(260.0260) Physical optics : Physical optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: July 3, 2012
Revised Manuscript: September 11, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: September 11, 2012
Published: September 28, 2012

Svetlana N. Khonina and Ilya Golub, "How low can STED go? Comparison of different write-erase beam combinations for stimulated emission depletion microscopy," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, 2242-2246 (2012)

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