Updated in 1/17/2011 4:18:41 PM      Viewed: 120 times      (Journal Article)
Optics letters 34 (14): 2147-9 (2009)

Polarization conversion in confocal microscopy with radially polarized illumination

WT Tang , EY Yew , CJ Sheppard
AbstractThe effects of using radially polarized illumination in a confocal microscope are discussed, and the introduction of a polarization mode converter into the detection optics of the microscope is proposed. We find that with such a configuration, bright-field imaging can be performed without losing the resolution advantage of radially polarized illumination. The detection efficiency can be increased by three times without having to increase the pinhole radius and sacrificing the confocality of the system. Furthermore, the merits of such a setup are also discussed in relation to surface plasmon microscopy and single-molecule orientation studies, where the doughnut point spread function can be engineered into a single-lobed point spread function.