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Proceedings Paper

Overcoming Polarization Aberrations In Microscopy
Author(s): Eric W. Hansen
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Paper Abstract

A long-standing problem in polarized light microscopy has been the inability, due to polarization aberrations, to achieve simultaneously high spatial resolution and high contrast. The rotation of the plane of polarization at oblique interfaces between crossed polars causes the pupil function to resemble a dark cross rather than being uniformly dark. Likewise, the point spread function has the visual appearance of a four-leaf clover rather than the ideal Airy disk, and is also space-variant. Images formed with these systems are severely degraded. In this paper the theory of polarization aberrations is applied to the analysis of three solutions to this problem: Reducing the system aperture to block troublesome high-aperture rays; the AVEC-POL method, in which high bias compensation introduces counterbalancing aberrations; and the polarization rectifier, an optical element designed to introduce equal and opposite rotations of the electric vector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 1988
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 0891, Polarization Considerations for Optical Systems, (29 June 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.944306
Show Author Affiliations
Eric W. Hansen, Dartmouth College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0891:
Polarization Considerations for Optical Systems
Russell A. Chipman, Editor(s)

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