Abstract

The applicability of optical scanning holography (OSH) to the field of microscopic imaging for biological applications is assessed. A generalized mathematical description of OSH that takes into account polarization effects, high numerical apertures, and generalized illumination wave fronts is presented. This description is used to show that the proposed single-beam scanning technique relaxes the restrictions under which OSH functions correctly compared with the conventional double-beam scanning method. It is also shown that, although in general OSH is restricted to thin samples, this condition can be relaxed in nonrefracting fluorescence samples, which are of importance in biological microscopy.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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