Image inversion interferometers have the potential to significantly enhance the lateral resolution and light efficiency of scanning fluorescence microscopes. Self-interference of a point source’s coherent point spread function with its inverted copy leads to a reduction in the integrated signal for off-axis sources compared to sources on the inversion axis. This can be used to enhance the resolution in a confocal laser scanning microscope. We present a simple image inversion interferometer relying solely on reflections off planar surfaces. Measurements of the detection point spread function for several types of light sources confirm the predicted performance and suggest its usability for scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy.
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