Abstract

An approach to achieve superresolution in confocal scanning microscopy by using the singular-system approach to the inverse problem was recently proposed. It consists of using a specially designed mask that performs the task of data inversion by means of all-optical processing. We discuss an approximate binary form of such a mask that permits its practical manufacture for use in incoherent confocal microscopy. The performance characteristics of such an approximate mask are compared with those of an exact mask and with those of a conventional confocal scanning microscope. Although the resolution of the approximate microscope is slightly inferior to the exact one, they are both still advances over the conventional confocal one (the improvement of resolution being 65% and 70%, respectively).

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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