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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 3, Iss. 4 — Apr. 23, 2008

Influence of surface reflective properties on differential interference contrast microscopy

Olivier Theodoly, Sylvain Gabriele, and Marie-Pierre Valignat  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 7, pp. 4547-4558 (2008)

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We present a model describing the image formation in DIC (Differential Interference Contrast) mode microscopy, by including the actual refractive indexes and reflection coefficients of objects and substrates. We calculate the contrast of flat and level objects of nanometric thickness versus the bias retardation Γ and the numerical aperture NA. We show that high contrasts, of the edge and of the inner object, can be achieved in DIC mode with special anti-reflective substrates and large NA values. The calculations agree with contrast measurements on nanometric steps of silica and explain also the extreme ability to detect single molecules (stretched DNA molecules).

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(180.0180) Microscopy : Microscopy
(240.0240) Optics at surfaces : Optics at surfaces
(260.0260) Physical optics : Physical optics
(310.0310) Thin films : Thin films

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: October 26, 2007
Revised Manuscript: January 28, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: February 8, 2008
Published: March 18, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 3, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Olivier Theodoly, Sylvain Gabriele, and Marie-Pierre Valignat, "Influence of surface reflective properties on differential interference contrast microscopy," Opt. Express 16, 4547-4558 (2008)

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