Abstract

We analyze the ability of nonlinear image restoration to remove interference artifacts in microscopes that enlarge the axial optical bandwidth through coherent counterpropagating waves. We calculate the images of an elaborate test object as produced by confocal, standing-wave, incoherent illumination interference image interference, and 4Pi confocal microscopes, and we subsequently investigate the extent to which the initial object can be restored by the information allowed by their optical transfer function. We find that nonlinear restoration is successful only if the transfer function is sufficiently contiguous and has amplitudes well above the noise level, as is mostly the case in a two-photon excitation 4Pi confocal microscope.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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