Light-field microscopy is a promising solution for microscopic volumetric imaging because the technique can encode information on multiple planes in a single acquisition. It is accomplished through its unique simultaneous capture of light spatial distribution and propagation direction information.
However, compared to standard microscopes, state-of-the-art light-field microscopes suffer from a detrimental loss of spatial resolution. The working principle of a new scheme, called correlation light-field microscopy (CLM), is demonstrated experimentally. The new technique exploits the correlation between two light beams to achieve volumetric imaging with a resolution limited only by diffraction.
A correlation image is generated in correlation light-field microscopy by measuring the intensity correlations between many pairs of ultra-short frames; each pair of frames is illuminated by the two correlated beams and exposed for a time comparable to the source coherence time.
The researchers demonstrate correlation light-field microscopy’s ability to experimentally recover information from out-of-focus planes within three-dimensional test targets and biomedical phantoms. They show, in particular, how correlation light-field microscopy improves the depth of field compared to a conventional microscope with the same resolution. Furthermore, the multiple perspectives in a single correlation image allow the reconstruction of more than 50 distinct transverse planes within a 1 mm3 sample.
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