Scanning Microscopy


We review the properties and applications of confocal optical systems. We concentrate on non-fluorescent reflection systems and on applications which make use of the unique optical sectioning property of these instruments to provide three-dimensional images. A crucial design choice concerns the form and size of the detector. We therefore concentrate on the role of the detector size on the strength of the optical sectioning. We find that although the sectioning becomes weaker as the detector sizes where the sectioning remains essentially constant. We also consider the role of lens aberrations which are inevitably present and find, inter alia, that these reduce the strength of the sectioning.

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