Multipoint scanning dual-detection confocal microscopy for fast 3D volumetric measurement

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We propose a multipoint scanning dual-detection confocal microscopy (MS-DDCM) system for fast 3D volumetric measurements. Unlike conventional confocal microscopy, MS-DDCM can accomplish surface profiling without axial scanning. Also, to rapidly obtain 2D images, the MS-DDCM employs a multipoint scanning technique, with a digital micromirror device used to produce arrays of effective pinholes, which are then scanned. The MS-DDCM is composed of two CCDs: one collects the conjugate images and the other collects nonconjugate images. The ratio of the axial response curves, measured by the two detectors, provides a linear relationship between the height of the sample surface and the ratio of the intensity signals. Furthermore, the difference between the two images results in enhanced contrast. The normalising effect of the MS-DDCM provides accurate sample heights, even when the reflectance distribution of the surface varies. Experimental results confirmed that the MS-DDCM achieved high-speed surface profiling with improved image contrast capability.

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