We investigate the form of the image of a finite sized spherical particle in confocal and conventional microscopes when the illuminating light has an arbitrary polarization. In particular,
we take the cases of radial and azimuthal polarizations and use the Mie theory to find the scattered field from differently sized particles for these cases. We present numerical results for the changes in the detected intensity when subresolution and resolvable spherical particles are illuminated with particular wavelengths and polarizations. Further, we find the limiting size of a particle for which it can be considered a point scatterer for a particular wavelength.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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