We demonstrate a new scheme to enhance the spatial resolution of a confocal optical microscope. Our scheme improves the spatial resolution in the direction of the optical axis. The confocal optical microscope, by use of a four-wave mixing geometry, can obtain optical information about weakly absorptive objects with organic dyes. Owing to the third-order nonlinear dependence of absorptive objects, the optical signal is confined to the focal region of the focusing incident beam.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
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