Systematic and quantitative comparison of lattice and Gaussian light-sheets

Opt Express. 2020 Aug 31;28(18):27052-27077. doi: 10.1364/OE.400164.


The axial resolving power of a light-sheet microscope is determined by the thickness of the illumination beam and the numerical aperture of its detection optics. Bessel-beam based optical lattices have generated significant interest owing to their reportedly narrow beam waist and propagation-invariant characteristics. Yet, despite their significant use in lattice light-sheet microscopy and recent incorporation into commercialized systems, there are very few quantitative reports on their physical properties and how they compare to standard Gaussian illumination beams. Here, we measure the beam properties in the transmission of dithered square lattices, which is the most commonly used variant of lattice light-sheet microscopy, and Gaussian-based light-sheets. After a systematic analysis, we find that square lattices are very similar to Gaussian-based light-sheets in terms of thickness, confocal parameter, propagation length and overall imaging performance.