Signal-to-Noise in Confocal Microscopes
Strictly, to obtain true confocal imaging, the detector pinhole must be infinitesimally small, which would result in a vanishingly weak image signal. On the other hand, a very large pinhole degrades the confocal imaging effect. So, in practice it is necessary to adopt some optimum size for the pinhole, which may depend on the design of microscope, how it is operated, and the type of specimen. The resultant imaging performance will then also depend on these various factors. In this way we can compare the performance of different designs of confocal microscopes and also compare them with wide-field (WF) microscopes that have electronic image capture coupled with digital 3D image restoration. In addition, we can understand how best to use the microscope in order to achieve optimum imaging performance.
KeywordsNoise Model Shot Noise Point Object Sensor Noise Stray Light
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