Quantitative sectioning and noise analysis for structured illumination microscopy

Nathan Hagen, Liang Gao, Tomasz S. Tkaczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Structured illumination (SI) has long been regarded as a nonquantitative technique for obtaining sectioned microscopic images. Its lack of quantitative results has restricted the use of SI sectioning to qualitative imaging experiments, and has also limited researchers' ability to compare SI against competing sectioning methods such as confocal microscopy. We show how to modify the standard SI sectioning algorithm to make the technique quantitative, and provide formulas for calculating the noise in the sectioned images. The results indicate that, for an illumination source providing the same spatially-integrated photon flux at the object plane, and for the same effective slice thicknesses, SI sectioning can provide higher SNR images than confocal microscopy for an equivalent setup when the modulation contrast exceeds about 0.09.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-413
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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