Abstract

The detrimental effects of a refractive-index mismatch on the image formation in a two-photon microscope were investigated. Point-spread functions (PSF’s) were recorded with an oil-immersion objective numerical aperture (NA) of 1.3 and a water-immersion objective NA of 1.2 in an aqueous sample at different depths. For the oil-immersion objective the enlargement of the PSF volume with increasing depth yields an axial and a lateral loss in resolution of approximately 380% and 160%, respectively, at a 90-µm depth in the sample. For the water-immersion objective no resolution decrease was found. Measurements on a thick aqueous biofilm sample shows the importance of matching the refractive index between immersion fluid and sample. With a good match, no loss in image resolution is observed.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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