24 February 2010 Optimal pupil design for confocal microscopy
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Confocal reflectance microscopy may enable screening and diagnosis of skin cancers noninvasively and in real-time, as an adjunct to biopsy and pathology. Current instruments are large, complex, and expensive. A simpler, confocal line-scanning microscope may accelerate the translation of confocal microscopy in clinical and surgical dermatology. A confocal reflectance microscope may use a beamsplitter, transmitting and detecting through the pupil, or a divided pupil, or theta configuration, with half used for transmission and half for detection. The divided pupil may offer better sectioning and contrast. We present a Fourier optics model and compare the on-axis irradiance of a confocal point-scanning microscope in both pupil configurations, optimizing the profile of a Gaussian beam in a circular or semicircular aperture. We repeat both calculations with a cylindrical lens which focuses the source to a line. The variable parameter is the fillfactor, h, the ratio of the 1/e2 diameter of the Gaussian beam to the diameter of the full aperture. The optimal values of h, for point scanning are 0.90 (full) and 0.66 for the half-aperture. For line-scanning, the fill-factors are 1.02 (full) and 0.52 (half). Additional parameters to consider are the optimal location of the point-source beam in the divided-pupil configuration, the optimal line width for the line-source, and the width of the aperture in the divided-pupil configuration. Additional figures of merit are field-of-view and sectioning. Use of optimal designs is critical in comparing the experimental performance of the different configurations.
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Yogesh G. Patel, Milind Rajadhyaksha, Charles A. DiMarzio, "Optimal pupil design for confocal microscopy", Proc. SPIE 7570, Three-Dimensional and Multidimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing XVII, 75700P (24 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.842862; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.842862

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