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Confocal pattern period in multiple-aperture confocal imaging systems with coherent illumination

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Abstract

We have built a programmable multiple-aperture confocal imaging system that uses a spatial light modulator (a Texas Instruments digital micromirror device). Excellent axial resolution and confocal imaging quality have been experimentally demonstrated with this system, even when the distance between adjacent on pixels is four times the size of the pixel aperture. By contrast, typical pinhole-based systems (e.g., a Nipkow disk) employ an adjacent aperture distance-to-size ratio of 10×. We have achieved improvement over such systems by 6.25× in both light-utilization efficiency and confocal image rate without adding more components and extra processing time.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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