Optical transfer function engineering for a tunable 3D structured illumination microscope


Two important features of three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy (3D-SIM) are its optical sectioning (OS) and super-resolution (SR) capabilities. Previous works on 3D-SIM systems show that these features are coupled. We demonstrate that a 3D-SIM system using a Fresnel biprism illuminated by multiple linear incoherent sources provides a structured illumination pattern whose lateral and axial modulation frequencies can be tuned separately. Therefore, the compact support of the synthetic optical transfer function (OTF) can be engineered to achieve the highest OS and SR capabilities for a particular imaging application. Theoretical performance of our engineered system based on the OTF support is compared to that achieved by other well-known SIM systems.

Publication Title

Optics Letters