Although surface-plasmon-coupled emission-based fluorescence microscopy proves high sensitivity for surface imaging, its donut shape point spread function (PSF) leads to low optical resolution and inefficient signal collection. In this Letter, we experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of solving this problem by the use of a liquid-crystal plate, which could convert the polarization state of surface-plasmon-coupled fluorescence from radial to linear. After being focused by the collection lens, an Airy disk-like PSF of small size can be realized. Experimental results reveal that both the lateral resolution and the signal-to-noise ratio can be enhanced simultaneously.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Optics at Surfaces
Original Manuscript: November 26, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: January 27, 2013
Published: February 26, 2013
Vol. 8, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Yikai Chen, Douguo Zhang, Lu Han, Guanghao Rui, Xiangxian Wang, Pei Wang, and Hai Ming, "Surface-plasmon-coupled emission microscopy with a polarization converter," Opt. Lett. 38, 736-738 (2013)