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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 16 — Aug. 12, 2013
  • pp: 19353–19362

Investigation of the confocal wavefront sensor and its application to biological microscopy

Michael Shaw, Kevin O’Holleran, and Carl Paterson  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 16, pp. 19353-19362 (2013)

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Wavefront sensing in the presence of background light sources is complicated by the need to restrict the effective depth of field of the wavefront sensor. This problem is particularly significant in direct wavefront sensing adaptive optic (AO) schemes for correcting imaging aberrations in biological microscopy. In this paper we investigate how a confocal pinhole can be used to reject out of focus light whilst still allowing effective wavefront sensing. Using a scaled set of phase screens with statistical properties derived from measurements of wavefront aberrations induced by C. elegans specimens, we investigate and quantify how the size of the pinhole and the aberration amplitude affect the transmitted wavefront. We suggest a lower bound for the pinhole size for a given aberration strength and quantify the optical sectioning provided by the system. For our measured aberration data we find that a pinhole of size approximately 3 Airy units represents a good compromise, allowing effective transmission of the wavefront and thin optical sections. Finally, we discuss some of the practical implications of confocal wavefront sensing for AO systems in microscopy.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(070.0070) Fourier optics and signal processing : Fourier optics and signal processing
(070.6110) Fourier optics and signal processing : Spatial filtering
(110.0180) Imaging systems : Microscopy
(110.1080) Imaging systems : Active or adaptive optics

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: June 14, 2013
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: August 1, 2013
Published: August 8, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Michael Shaw, Kevin O’Holleran, and Carl Paterson, "Investigation of the confocal wavefront sensor and its application to biological microscopy," Opt. Express 21, 19353-19362 (2013)

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