Abstract

Structured illumination can be employed to extend the lateral resolution of wide-field fluorescence microscopy. Since a structured illumination microscopy image is reconstructed from a series of several acquired images, we develop a modified formulation of the imaging response of the microscope and a probabilistic analysis to assess the resolution performance. We use this model to compare the fluorescence imaging performance of structured illumination techniques to confocal microscopy. Specifically, we examine the trade-off between achievable lateral resolution and signal-to-noise ratio when photon shot noise is dominant. We conclude that for a given photon budget, structured illumination invariably achieves better lateral resolution than confocal microscopy.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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