Abstract

Stimulated emission depletion (STED) can achieve optical superresolution, with the optical diffraction limit broken by the suppression on the periphery of the fluorescent focal spot. Previously, it is generally experimentally accepted that there exists an inverse square root relationship with the STED power and the resolution, but with arbitrary coefficients in expression. In this paper, we have removed the arbitrary coefficients by exploring the relationship between the STED power and the achievable resolution from vector optical theory for the widely used 02π vortex phase modulation. Electromagnetic fields of the focal region of a high numerical aperture objective are calculated and approximated into polynomials of radius in the focal plane, and analytical expression of resolution as a function of the STED intensity has been derived. As a result, the resolution can be estimated directly from the measurement of the saturation power of the dye and the STED power applied in the region of high STED power.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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