Abstract

Recently, a high collection efficiency mirror system was developed by Watson [ Cytometry 10, 681– 688 ( 1989)] to increase the sensitivity of low level fluorescence detection. The mirror system consists of an ellipsoidal imaging mirror and spherical backreflecting mirror. The fluorescing sample is located at one focus of the ellipsoid, and its image is formed at the other focus. In this paper we evaluate the image quality of this geometry using a PC-based ray tracing program. The analysis demonstrates high collection efficiency but poor image quality. The effect of poor image quality on single molecule detection is discussed.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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