Browse Prior Art Database

Multi-Depth Linear Scan Confocal Imaging System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117203D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mandeville, JR: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a device for generating confocal images at multiple focal planes. The multiple images are formed and recorded in one continuous scan of the object across the field of view.

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Multi-Depth Linear Scan Confocal Imaging System

      Disclosed is a device for generating confocal images at
multiple focal planes.  The multiple images are formed and recorded
in one continuous scan of the object across the field of view.

      Acquisition of a confocal image by linearly scanning the object
has been described earlier.  Illuminated pinholes arranged in a
pattern such as the top five rows of Fig. 1 (indicated by "depth A")
are imaged onto the object and the reflected (or transmitted) light
is re-imaged through an identical pattern of pinholes.  As the object
is scanned across the pinhole images the light passing through each
pinhole is detected.  Periodically during the scan the light level at
each pinhole is recorded in computer memory.  After the object has
moved a sufficient distance, the memory contains a 2-dimensional
image of those object surfaces that lie within a certain distance of
the pinhole image plane.

      Multiple images can be generated with additional pinhole
patterns, such as one marked "depth B" in Fig. 1.  If the additional
pinholes lie in different planes, they generate confocal images of
different object planes.  Rather than displace the planes of the
pinholes, a simpler method is to tilt the object and the scan axis
(Fig. 2).  Each pinhole pattern then effectively creates an image of
a different object plane.  Because each pinhole pattern consists of
several rows of pinholes, each image is not strictly of one o...