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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 14, Iss. 9 — May. 1, 2006
  • pp: 3830–3839

Resolution of coherent and incoherent imaging systems reconsidered - Classical criteria and a statistical alternative

Sandra Van Aert, Dirk Van Dyck, and Arnold J. den Dekker  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 9, pp. 3830-3839 (2006)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.14.003830


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Abstract

The resolution of coherent and incoherent imaging systems is usually evaluated in terms of classical resolution criteria, such as Rayleigh’s. Based on these criteria, incoherent imaging is generally concluded to be ‘better’ than coherent imaging. However, this paper reveals some misconceptions in the application of the classical criteria, which may lead to wrong conclusions. Furthermore, it is shown that classical resolution criteria are no longer appropriate if images are interpreted quantitatively instead of qualitatively. Then one needs an alternative criterion to compare coherent and incoherent imaging systems objectively. Such a criterion, which relates resolution to statistical measurement precision, is proposed in this paper. It is applied in the field of electron microscopy, where the question whether coherent high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) or incoherent annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (ADF STEM) is preferable has been an issue of considerable debate.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.2690) General : General physics
(000.5490) General : Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(030.4280) Coherence and statistical optics : Noise in imaging systems
(350.5730) Other areas of optics : Resolution

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

History
Original Manuscript: January 27, 2006
Revised Manuscript: March 16, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: April 19, 2006
Published: May 1, 2006

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Sandra Van Aert, Dirk Van Dyck, and Arnold J. den Dekker, "Resolution of coherent and incoherent imaging systems reconsidered - Classical criteria and a statistical alternative," Opt. Express 14, 3830-3839 (2006)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-14-9-3830


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References

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