Complex pupil filters are introduced to improve the three-dimensional resolving power of an optical imaging system. Through the design of the essential parameters of such filters, the transmittance and radius of the first zone, three-dimensional superresolution is realized. The Strehl ratio and the transverse and axial gains of such filters are analyzed in detail. A series of simulation examples of such filters are also presented that prove that three-dimensional superresolution can be realized. The advantage of such filters is that it is easy to realize three-dimensional superresolution, and the disadvantage is that the sidelobes of the axial intensity distribution are too high. But this can be overcome by the application of a confocal system.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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