Abstract

Illumination plays an important role in optical microscopy. Köhler illumination, introduced more than a century ago, has been the backbone of optical microscopes. The last few decades have seen the evolution of new illumination techniques meant to improve certain imaging capabilities of the microscope. Most of them are, however, not amenable for wide-field observation and hence have restricted use in microscopy applications such as cell biology and microscale profile measurements. The method of structured illumination microscopy has been developed as a wide-field technique for achieving higher performance. Additionally, it is also compatible with existing microscopes. This method consists of modifying the illumination by superposing a well-defined pattern on either the sample itself or its image. Computational techniques are applied on the resultant images to remove the effect of the structure and to obtain the desired performance enhancement. This method has evolved over the last two decades and has emerged as a key illumination technique for optical sectioning, super-resolution imaging, surface profiling, and quantitative phase imaging of microscale objects in cell biology and engineering. In this review, we describe various structured illumination methods in optical microscopy and explain the principles and technologies involved therein.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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