The imaging performance in single-photon (1-p) and two-photon (2-p) fluorescence microscopy is described. Both confocal and conventional systems are compared in terms of the three-dimensional (3-D) point spread function and the 3-D optical transfer function. Images of fluorescent sharp edges and layers are modelled, giving resolution in transverse and axial directions. A comparison of the imaging properties is also given for a 4Pi confocal system. Confocal 2-p 4Pi fluorescence microscopy gives the best axial resolution in the sense that its 3-D optical transfer function has the strongest response along the axial direction.
SPIE milestone series: selected papers on multiphoton excitation microscopy / B. R. Masters (ed.),
Vol. MS 175 (2003), pp. 127-136