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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Xi-Cheng Zhang
  • Vol. 39, Iss. 15 — Aug. 1, 2014
  • pp: 4290–4293

What structural length scales can be detected by the spectral variance of a microscope image?

Lusik Cherkezyan, Hariharan Subramanian, and Vadim Backman  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 15, pp. 4290-4293 (2014)

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A spectroscopic microscope, configured to detect interference spectra of backscattered light in the far zone, quantifies the statistics of refractive-index (RI) distribution via the spectral variance (Σ˜2) of the acquired bright-field image. Its sensitivity to subtle structural changes within weakly scattering, label-free media at subdiffraction scales shows great promise in fields from material science to medical diagnostics. We further investigate the length-scale sensitivity of Σ˜ and reveal that, in theory, it can detect RI fluctuations at any spatial frequency whatsoever. Based on a 5% noise floor, Σ˜ detects scales from 22 to 200–700 nm (exact values depend on sample structure and thickness). In an example involving mass-density distribution characteristic of biological cell nuclei, we suggest the level of chromatin organization, which can be quantified via Σ˜.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.1530) Medical optics and biotechnology : Cell analysis
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering
(300.0300) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: March 10, 2014
Revised Manuscript: June 5, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: June 12, 2014
Published: July 16, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 10 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Lusik Cherkezyan, Hariharan Subramanian, and Vadim Backman, "What structural length scales can be detected by the spectral variance of a microscope image?," Opt. Lett. 39, 4290-4293 (2014)

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