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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 14 — Jul. 6, 2009
  • pp: 12001–12012

Highly sensitive size discrimination of sub-micron objects using optical Fourier processing based on two-dimensional Gabor filters

Robert M. Pasternack, Zhen Qian, Jing-Yi Zheng, Dimitris N. Metaxas, and Nada N. Boustany  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 14, pp. 12001-12012 (2009)

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We use optical Gabor-like filtering implemented with a digital micromirror device to achieve nanoscale sensitivity to changes in the size of finite and periodic objects imaged at low resolution. The method consists of applying an optical Fourier filter bank consisting of Gabor-like filters of varying periods and extracting the optimum filter period that maximizes the filtered object signal. Using this optimum filter period as a measure of object size, we show sensitivity to a 7.5 nm change in the period of a chirped phase mask with period around 1µm. We also show 30nm sensitivity to change in the size of polystyrene spheres with diameters around 500nm. Unlike digital post-processing our optical processing method retains its sensitivity when implemented at low magnification in undersampled images. Furthermore, the optimum Gabor filter period found experimentally is linearly related to sphere diameter over the range 0.46µm-1µm and does not rely on a predictive scatter model such as Mie theory. The technique may have applications in high throughput optical analysis of subcellular morphology to study organelle function in living cells.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(070.1170) Fourier optics and signal processing : Analog optical signal processing
(070.6110) Fourier optics and signal processing : Spatial filtering
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy

ToC Category:
Fourier Optics and Signal Processing

Original Manuscript: April 13, 2009
Revised Manuscript: May 28, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: June 1, 2009
Published: July 1, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Robert M. Pasternack, Zhen Qian, Jing-Yi Zheng, Dimitris N. Metaxas, and Nada N. Boustany, "Highly sensitive size discrimination of sub-micron objects using optical Fourier processing based on two-dimensional Gabor filters," Opt. Express 17, 12001-12012 (2009)

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