Jul 19, 2022

Tech Tip Tuesdays with Zemax: Featured June Tip

Category: Product News

This article was originally featured in our Tech Tips Tuesday series on LinkedIn, where we share technical know-how directly from our team of expert optical engineers and the Zemax Community.  

Tech Tip Tuesdays with #Zemax: Resolution of diffraction-limited imaging systems using the PSF

The performance of imaging systems relates to their resolution. Characterizing the spatial resolution of a diffraction-limited imaging system, such as a microscope, can be done in different ways. We propose using the point spread function (PSF) calculated in #OpticStudio to obtain an objective measure of the resolution of imaging systems.

Two methods, which overlap the PSFs of two field points on the image (detector) plane are introduced in the referenced Knowledgebase article. The first method uses the multi-configuration editor with two-point sources in the object plane, which are gradually separated with a distance close to the Rayleigh criterion and analyzed with Huygens PSF in the image plane. The second method uses the image simulation tool. The Image Simulation essentially performs a convolution of the microscope PSF with an input image. Both methods are compared, and their pros and cons are discussed. Various aspects of the design contribute to the resolution, and there needs to be a clear definition of this concept to ensure proper assessment of the design performance.

Additional Resources:
Knowledgebase Article: Resolution of diffraction-limited imaging systems using the point spread function

Try Zemax optical design software for yourself, request a free trial today