We investigated the optical properties of a homodyne scanning optical microscope (HSOM) with phase-diversity detection. We found that an HSOM is a coherent imaging system and has the same coherent transfer function as a confocal scanning optical microscope (CSOM). In addition, the depth discrimination ability of an HSOM is the same as that of a CSOM. The resolution of an HSOM can be improved by inserting an annular aperture in the optical path of either the signal or reference beams without reducing the signal intensity.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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