Abstract

Video-enhanced optical microscope imaging has recently achieved considerable improvements in the detectivity of very small objects, even exceeding Rayleigh’s resolution criterion. Improvements in the signal-to-noise ratio have been attained utilizing digital image processing by reducing background and fixed pattern noise. Thus the video-enhanced optical microscope is a modern version of a traditional dark-field ultramicroscope for detecting scattered light. Theoretical calculations presented in this paper predict that the ultimate detectable size is several nanometers, 1/100 of the wavelength. This is in agreement with recent experimental reports. Effects of microscope structure factors are discussed.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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