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Optics Letters

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  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 33, Iss. 12 — Jun. 15, 2008
  • pp: 1345–1347

Autoconfocal microscopy with a cw laser and thermionic detection

Daryl Lim, Kengyeh K. Chu, and Jerome Mertz  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 12, pp. 1345-1347 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.33.001345


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Abstract

We introduce an application of thermionic emission in a PMT photocathode. Because of the nonlinear dependence of thermionic emission on absorbed laser power, a conventional PMT is found to produce a virtual pinhole effect that rejects unfocused light at least as strongly as a physical pinhole. This virtual pinhole effect is exploited in a scanning transmission confocal microscope equipped with a cw laser source. Because the area of the PMT photocathode is large, signal descanning is not required and thermionic detection acts as a self-aligned pinhole. Our technique of thermionic-detection autoconfocal microscopy is further implemented with graded-field contrast to obtain enhanced phase-gradient sensitivity in unlabeled samples, such as rat hippocampal brain slices.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(180.1790) Microscopy : Confocal microscopy
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy
(190.4870) Nonlinear optics : Photothermal effects

ToC Category:
Microscopy

History
Original Manuscript: February 27, 2008
Revised Manuscript: May 3, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: May 11, 2008
Published: June 12, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 7 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Daryl Lim, Kengyeh K. Chu, and Jerome Mertz, "Autoconfocal microscopy with a cw laser and thermionic detection," Opt. Lett. 33, 1345-1347 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-33-12-1345


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References

  1. T. Wilson and C. J. R. Sheppard, Theory and Practice of Scanning Optical Microscopy (Academic, 1984).
  2. T. Pons and J. Mertz, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 21, 1486 (2004). [CrossRef]
  3. K. K. Chu, R. Yi, and J. Mertz, Opt. Express 15, 2476 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  5. P. B. Coates, J. Phys. D 5, 1489 (1972). [CrossRef]
  6. W. Schottky, Annalen der Physik 362, 541 (1918). [CrossRef]
  7. K. K. Chu, D. Lim, and J. Mertz, Opt. Lett. 32, 2846 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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