Abstract

The subtraction imaging in confocal microscopy is demonstrated by using two vector beams with radial and azimuthal polarizations. The longitudinal electric component, which appears near the focus of a radially polarized beam under the tight focusing condition and produces a smaller focal spot, is effectively extracted by the subtraction using an azimuthally polarized beam. This subtraction imaging with vector beams provides the improvement of the lateral resolution in confocal microscopy without the degradation due to the excess subtraction.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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