The problem of detecting electric dipole emitters (such as a fluorescing molecule) through a microscope objective with a high numerical aperture is considered. Exact vector-wave-optics results of the field distribution of the electromagnetic field in image space are derived. On the basis of these results, the collection-efficiency function (CEF) is calculated. This calculation is compared with a semigeometric approximation of the CEF, for which a new analytical formula is presented. The derived results are important for applications such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and single-molecule fluorescence detection with a confocal microscope.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(180.1790) Microscopy : Confocal microscopy
(260.1960) Physical optics : Diffraction theory
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(300.2530) Spectroscopy : Fluorescence, laser-induced
(300.6280) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, fluorescence and luminescence
Jörg Enderlein, "Theoretical study of detection of a dipole emitter through an objective with high numerical aperture," Opt. Lett. 25, 634-636 (2000)