Various ways of calculating three-dimensional optical point spread functions (PSFs) are presented. The methods account for the vector nature of the optical field as well as phase aberrations. Quantitative comparisons in terms of speed and accuracy will be presented.
Methods of calculating optical point spread functions (PSFs) calculated by the toolbox https://github.com/RainerHeintzmann/PointSpreadFunctions.jl are presented. These methods range from propagating field components via the angular spectrum method using Fourier-transforms to a version that applies spatial constraints in each propagation step to avoid wrap-around effects. Another method starts with the analytical solution, sinc(r), with r denoting the distance to the focus, of a related scalar problem, which is then modified to account for various influences of high-NA aplanatic optical systems. The toolbox supports aberrations as specified via Zernike coefficients.
The toolbox also contains practical tools such as a PSF distillation tool which automatically identifies single point sources and averages their measured images with sub-pixel precision.
Future directions may include ways to identify aberrations from measured PSFs. The toolbox will also be extended towards supporting a wider range of microscopy modes.