This chapter will review the physical principles of confocal scanning microscopy. The ability to modify and improve the optical imaging in these instruments results mainly from adoption of a scanning approach. In this way the only requirement of the optical system is that it should be capable of imaging one point of the object field at any time: the entire field is then built up by scanning. This serial imaging has several advantages over the essentially parallel processing of the conventional microscope. In particular, it provides the image in an ideal form for subsequent image processing and display. A typical scanning system and computer interface is shown in Fig. 7.1.
KeywordsPoint Spread Function Numerical Aperture Point Detector Conventional Microscope Depth Discrimination
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