Is phase-mask alignment aberrating your STED microscope?

Brian R. Patton, Daniel Burke, Robert Vrees, Martin J. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of a stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope depends critically upon the pupil plane phase mask that is used to shape the depletion focus. Misalignments of the mask create unwanted distortions of the depletion focus to the detriment of image quality. It is shown how the phase errors introduced by a misplaced mask are similar to coma aberrations. The effects are investigated analytically, through numerical modelling and experimental measurement. Strategies for the systematic alignment of the masks are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024002
Number of pages10
JournalMethods and Applications in Fluorescence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • adaptive optics
  • microscopy
  • spatial light modulator
  • STED
  • superresolution

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