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Polarization control methods in structured illumination microscopy

Zhao Tian-Yu Zhou Xing Dan Dan Qian Jia Wang Zhao-Jun Lei Ming Yao Bao-Li

Polarization control methods in structured illumination microscopy

Zhao Tian-Yu, Zhou Xing, Dan Dan, Qian Jia, Wang Zhao-Jun, Lei Ming, Yao Bao-Li
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  • Received Date:  16 May 2017
  • Accepted Date:  13 June 2017
  • Published Online:  05 July 2017

Polarization control methods in structured illumination microscopy

    Corresponding author: Lei Ming, leiming@opt.ac.cn;yaobl@opt.ac.cn
    Corresponding author: Yao Bao-Li, leiming@opt.ac.cn;yaobl@opt.ac.cn
  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Transient Optics and Photonics, Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710119, China;
  • 2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Fund Project:  Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61522511, 11404389, 81427802, 11474352) and the Basic Research Plan of Natural Science in Shaanxi Province, China (Grant No. 2016JZ020).

Abstract: Structured illumination microscopy (SIM) is one of the most promising super-resolution techniques, owing to its advantages of fast imaging speed and weak photo bleaching. The quality of the SIM image is greatly dependent on the contrast of the sinusoidal fringe illumination patterns. Low fringe contrast illumination will seriously affect the super-resolution result and lead to additional artifacts. The generation of fringe patterns with high contrast is the key requirement in hardware for the SIM technique. This can be done by the interference of two laser beams diffracted from the phase gratings addressed on a spatial light modulator. Meanwhile, for maximal interference contrast, precise polarization control to maintain s-polarization for different fringe orientations is critical. In this paper, we review several typical polarization control methods in SIM, and propose a new method by using a zero-order vortex half-wave retarder (VHR). Compared with the other methods, the presented VHR-based polarization control method is very efficient in terms of simple system configuration, ease of use, and high light energy utilization efficiency near to 100%.

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