Realistic modeling of the illumination point spread function in confocal scanning optical microscopy
The authors present a fully vectorial theory for evaluating the point spread function of the illumination in a confocal microscope. The illuminating beam is assumed to pass through stratified media before reaching the sample. A program implementing the theory was produced by the authors and can be found on the net for free (http://onemolecule.chem.uwm.edu/software). This program allows the interested readers to study in any detail the field in the focal region, with the help of efficient color pictures, and should be of considerable help for scientists working with confocal microscopy.