Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy

Super-resolution microscopes – optical systems that can achieve resolution beyond Abbe’s well-known diffraction limit – have seen a wide array of uses, as obtaining the maximum possible resolution is one of the key objectives in this field. One approach to achieve this is the Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) concept. Here, a fluorescent specimen is illuminated by two lasers, with one of them shaped by a phase plate into a donut mode. Through chemical processes, the light re-emitted by the sample will stem from the central point of the donut mode only, which can be configured to be much smaller than a classical focal spot, hence increasing the resolution of the image.

The optical modeling and design software VirtualLab Fusion, with its collection of fully interoperable simulation algorithms on a single platform, offers the optical engineer all the necessary tools to fully investigate such systems, including all relevant effects.

In the documents linked below you will find a demonstration of an STED Microscope as well as a detailed look at our Multiple Light Source, a feature of particular importance for this example, since it gives full flexibility to define multiple emitters in a system and to switch each of them on and off independently as desired in order to isolate the different effects which may arise.

Principle of Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Microscopy

In this use case the principle of an STED microscope is demonstrated. The two laser beams are propagated into the focal plane, where the saturated depletion effect is approximated by a soft aperture.

Simulation of Multiple Light Sources with VirtualLab Fusion

This document illustrates how to use the Multiple Light Source in VirtualLab Fusion.

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