A diffraction-limited scanning system providing broad spectral range for laser scanning microscopy

Jiun Yann Yu, Chien Sheng Liao, Zong Yan Zhuo, Chen Han Huang, Hsiang Chen Chui, Shi Wei Chu

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12 Scopus citations


Diversified research interests in scanning laser microscopy nowadays require broadband capability of the optical system. Although an all-mirror-based optical design with a suitable metallic coating is appropriate for broad-spectrum applications from ultraviolet to terahertz, most researchers prefer lens-based scanning systems despite the drawbacks of a limited spectral range, ghost reflection, and chromatic aberration. One of the main concerns is that the geometrical aberration induced by off-axis incidence on spherical mirrors significantly deteriorates image resolution. Here, we demonstrate a novel geometrical design of a spherical-mirror-based scanning system in which off-axis aberrations, both astigmatism and coma, are compensated to reach diffraction-limited performance. We have numerically simulated and experimentally verified that this scanning system meets the Marech̀l condition and provides high Strehl ratio within a 3°×3° scanning area. Moreover, we demonstrate second-harmonic-generation imaging from starch with our new design. A greatly improved resolution compared to the conventional mirror-based system is confirmed. This scanning system will be ideal for high-resolution linear/nonlinear laser scanning microscopy, ophthalmoscopic applications, and precision fabrications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113704
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009


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