Abstract

It is commonly accepted that optical sub-Rayleigh imaging has potential application in many fields. In this Letter, by confining the divergence of the optical field, as well as the size of the illumination source, we show that the first-order averaged intensity measurement via speckle laser illumination can make an actual breakthrough on the Rayleigh limit. For a high-order algorithm, it has been reported that the autocorrelation function can be utilized to achieve the sub-Rayleigh feature. However, we find that this sub-Rayleigh feature for the high-order algorithm is limited only to binary objects, and the image will be distorted when a gray object is placed. This property encourages us to find the physics behind the high-order correlation imaging algorithm. We address these explanations in this Letter and find that for different types of high-order algorithm, there is always a “seat” in the right place from the cross-correlation function.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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