From Adaptive Optics for Vision Science

10.3.1   Resolution Limits of Confocal Scanning Laser Imaging Systems

In a confocal scanning laser imaging system, the effective PSF is computed
as the product of the ingoing PSF with the convolution of the outgoing PSF
and the confocal aperture. When the confocal aperture approaches a size
equaling the radius of the Airy disk of the collection path of the system, the
effective PSF is simply the product of the ingoing and outgoing PSFs. Under
such conditions, the resolution is equally determined by the input PSF and
the outgoing PSF, and the lateral resolution can exceed that of conventional
imaging by about 40% [as assessed by the full width at half maximum
(FWHM) of the PSF]. If the confocal aperture is large, then image quality is
governed only by the ingoing PSF; effective optical sectioning disappears and
lateral resolution approaches that of conventional imaging systems.

Axial resolution in confocal SLOs can be defi ned and computed in several
ways. The standard way to determine axial resolution is to measure the
detected intensity that is recorded from a planar surface as a function of its
axial location from the focal plane of the SLO [25]. The full width (axial
distance) at...

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Lasers are devices that produce intense beams of monochromatic, coherent radiation. The word "laser" is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
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Optical lenses are transparent components made from optical-quality materials and curved to converge or diverge transmitted rays from an object. These rays then form a real or virtual image of the object.  This area includes micro lenses.

Magnifiers enlarge the appearance of objects when viewed through a lens. These facilitate the inspection of fine details and the assembly of small components.

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Optical mirrors have a smooth, highly-polished, plane or curved surface for reflecting light. Usually, the reflecting surface is a thin coating of silver, or aluminum on glass.

Topics of Interest

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Confocal technology employs a laser to deliver concentrated light to a specimen that is reflected back through the optical path to a small aperture, the confocal pinhole, and then to image sensor. The...