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Method and device for photothermal examination of microinhomogeneities

InactiveUS20040085540A1Increase sensitivity and resolutionImprove resolutionMaterial analysis by optical meansPhysicsRefractive index
The invention relates to optical microscopy, in particular to methods for photothermal examination of absorbent microinhomogeneities using laser radiation sources and can be widely used in laser engineering, industry and biomedicine for examining relatively transparent objects containing submicron impurities, including the detection of local inclusions and defects in ultrapure optical and semiconductor materials and the non-destructive diagnosis of biological samples on a cellular and subcellular level. The aim of the invention is to increase the sensitivity, spatial resolution and informativity of examination of local absorbent microinhomogeinities in transparent objects and to measure said microinhomogeinities even when they are less than the used emission wavelength. The inventive method consists in radiating a sample with a pumping laser beam. The duration of the radiation is equal to or less than a representative time for cooling the examined microinhomogeinity. The relatively large surface of the sample is radiated, the shape thereof being greater than the wavelength of the used pumping laser. Thermal variations of the refractive index occurring in the sample as a result of absorption produced with the aid of the pumping beam are recorded by measuring parameters of a test laser beam. The diameter of the test beam is chosen in such a way that it is equal to or greater than the diameter of the pumping beam. A diffraction-limited phase distribution along the cross-section of the testing laser beam is transformed into an amplitude image, the microinhomogeinity properties being determined by measuring said amplitude image.
Owner:LAPOTKO TATIANA MS

Method and apparatus for three-dimensional microscopy with enhanced resolution

A method and apparatus for three dimensional optical microscopy is disclosed which employs dual opposing objective lenses about a sample and extended incoherent illumination to provide enhanced depth or Z.Iadd.-.Iaddend.direction resolution. In a first embodiment, observed light from both objective lenses are brought into coincidence on an image detector and caused to interfere thereon by optical path length adjustment. In a second embodiment, illuminating light from an extended incoherent light source is detected to the sample through both objective lenses and caused to interfere with a section of the sample by adjusting optical path lengths. Observed light from one objective lens is then recorded. In a third embodiment, which combines the first two embodiments, illuminating light from an extended incoherent light source is directed to the sample through both objective lenses and caused to interfere within a section of the sample by adjusting optical path lengths. The observed light from both lenses is caused to interfere on the image detector by the same optical path length adjustment. .Iadd.In a fourth embodiment of the invention, further spatial structure is introduced into the illumination light. Computational processing is used to enhance lateral or XY resolution as well as depth or Z resolution..Iaddend.
Owner:RGT UNIV OF CALIFORNIA

Method and device for photothermal examination of microinhomogeneities

The invention relates to optical microscopy, and more particularly to the methods for photothermal examination of absorbing microheterogeneities using laser radiation. The invention can be widely used in laser technique, industry, and biomedicine to examine transparent objects with absorbing submicron fragments, including detection of local impurities and defects in super-pure optical and semiconducting materials and non-destructive diagnostics of biological samples on cellular and subcellular levels.The object of the present invention is to increase sensitivity, spatial resolution and informative worth when examining local absorbing heterogeneities in transparent objects, as well as to detect the size of said heterogeneities even if said size is smaller than the radiation wavelength used.Said object is achieved by the pump beam irradiation of a sample, the duration of said irradiation not being longer than the characteristic time of cooling of the microheterogeneity observed. A relatively vast surface of the sample is irradiated at once, the size of said surface not being larger than the wavelength of the pump laser used. The refraction index thermal variations, induced by the pump beam in the sample and being the result of absorption, are registered by the parameter change of the probe laser beam. A chosen probe beam diameter should not be smaller than the pump beam diameter. The diffraction-limited phase distribution over the probe laser beam cross-section is transformed to an amplitude image using a phase contrast method. The properties of microheterogeneities are estimated by measuring said amplitude image.
Owner:LAPOTKO TATIANA MS
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