Fundamental Limits in Confocal Microscopy

  • James Pawley


The previous chapter described how the confocal approach developed from conventional light microscopy and outlined the basic advantages to be gained by the use of confocal sampling techniques. This chapter will discuss the fundamental considerations that limit the performance of all confocal microscopes. Though at present no commercially available equipment approaches these limits, some simple tests will be described to help the user assess how closely a given instrument performs. Additional information to help the user to operate the confocal microscope in an optimal manner can be found in Chapter 36, “Tutorial on Practical Confocal Microscopy and Use of the Confocal Test Specimen,” which also includes methods for measuring resolution.


Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope Numerical Aperture Photon Efficiency Contrast Transfer Function Field Diaphragm 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Pawley
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoology DepartmentUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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