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Keywords:

  • Scanning microscopy;
  • confocal systems;
  • image formation;
  • confocal design

SUMMARY

We consider the effect of the finite size of the detector on both the lateral and axial resolution of the confocal system. The use of a finite sized detector means that the imaging is no longer truly coherent. We find that the lateral resolution is considerably more sensitive to the detector size than is the axial response. The question of the rejection of flare light is also considered. Experimental results are shown and we find that acceptable extended-focus, auto-focus and height images may be obtained from non truly-confocal systems. We also find that lens apodization has a far greater effect on the axial resolution than the lateral resolution.