Confocal Microscope With Fabry-Perot Filter
Original Publication Date: 1988-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-15
A confocal laser scanning microscope is described wherein the conventional pinhole is replaced with one or more Fabry-Perot filters to achieve performance improvement. In a conventional confocal laser scanning microscope, resolution gain is obtained by first illuminating the object with a diffraction limited spot, and then imaging that spot onto a pinhole. The pinhole diameter is set at the diffraction limit of the system. Thus, stray light from outside the diffraction limited spot is prevented from reaching the detector, thus increasing the lateral resolution. Similarly, if the object is out of focus, a blurred spot is formed in the image plane and most of the light is rejected by the pinhole. Thus, the detector only sees the in-focus plane. These two features open up unique applications for confocal microscopes.