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Disclosed is a method to illuminate a tandem confocal microscope [*] with laser light instead of the broadband incoherent light presently used.
English (United States)
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Laser-Driven Tandem Microscope
Disclosed is a method to illuminate a tandem confocal microscope [*] with
laser light instead of the broadband incoherent light presently used.
The invention is shown in the figure. A laser cavity is set up in the usual way
for producing polarized light. A polarizing element 1 such as a glan prism is
inserted in the laser cavity formed by a high reflectivity mirror 2, the lasing
medium 3 and the output mirror 4. The output mirror 4, however, is a 100%
reflecting mirror with holes etched in the high reflectivity coating so that the
average mirror reflectivity is the same as that of the the output coupler of the
normal laser. For example, a continuous Nd-YAG laser would have output
coupler reflectivity 80-95% for most efficient operation, while a blue helium-
cadmium laser would have an output coupler reflectivity of 97%. The images of
the holes in the output flat are then projected by the optical system 5 of a normal
confocal microscope through a g/4 plate 6 onto the surface 7 to be studied. The
light 8 reflected from the surface is then carried back through the g/4 plate 6 back
through the holes in the output coupler 4 of the laser, and to the polarizing
element 1. Since the polarized light has passed through the g/4 plate 6 twice, it
is now linearly polarized in the opposite sense to the original laser light, and is
reflected at the polarizing element through an imaging system 9 which images
the holes in the output flat onto a mult...