We present the performance limits on three-dimensional (3D) localization accuracy of currently used methods of wide-field superlocalization microscopy. The three methods investigated are double-helix microscopy, astigmatic imaging, and biplane detection. In the shot-noise limit, Cramer–Rao lower bound calculations show that, among these techniques, the double-helix microscope exhibits the best axial and 3D localization accuracy over short as well as long depth-of-field systems. The fundamental advantage of engineered point-spread function systems, like the double-helix, stems from the additional degrees of freedom available to control diffraction in three dimensions over variable regions of interest.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: February 17, 2010
Revised Manuscript: July 28, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: August 11, 2010
Published: September 30, 2010
Vol. 5, Iss. 14 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics
Ginni Grover, Sri Rama Prasanna Pavani, and Rafael Piestun, "Performance limits on three-dimensional particle localization in photon-limited microscopy," Opt. Lett. 35, 3306-3308 (2010)