Subwavelength metal apertures significantly enhance single molecule fluorescence signaling systems, but require
efficient illumination and collection optics. On-chip micromirror structures offer a way to markedly improve the
coupling efficiency between such subwavelength metal apertures and the external fluorescence illumination and
collection optics, which in turn greatly simplifies several aspects of instrument design including optics,
optomechanics, and thermal control. Modeling and experimental verification of the gains in illumination and
collection efficiency for subwavelength metal apertures leads to a micromirror design that is both highly efficient
yet also manufacturable. A combination of ray-based and finite-difference-time-domain models is used to optimize
conical micromirrors colocated with subwavelength metal apertures for the case where the illumination light
interacts strongly with the micromirror and the collection optics have modest numerical aperture (NA~0.5).
Experimental methods employing either freely diffusing or immobilized dye molecules are used to measure the
illumination and collection efficiencies of fabricated micromirror prototypes. An overall fluorescence gain of
~100x, comprising a 20x improvement with flood illumination efficiency together with a 5x improvement in
collection efficiency, are both predicted and experimentally verified.
In this paper we explore potential applications of a new
transparent Electro-Optic Ceramic in 3D imaging as a fast phase
shifter and demonstrate its performance in a newly developed Low
Coherence Polarization Interference Microscopy (LCPIM). The new phase modulator is fast, convenient and inexpensive. It makes the 3D
imaging system that employs it mechanically efficient and compact.
The LCPIM proposed in this paper has the advantages of rapid phase
shifting and adjustable reference/objective intensity ratio for
maximum contrast. The new phase modulator has been approved feasible
by several experiments.