Cancellation of Bessel beam side lobes for high-contrast light sheet microscopy

Giuseppe Di Domenico*, Giancarlo Ruocco, Cristina Colosi, Eugenio DelRe, Giuseppe Antonacci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An ideal illumination for light sheet fluorescence microscopy entails both a localized and a propagation invariant optical field. Bessel beams and Airy beams satisfy these conditions, but their non-diffracting feature comes at the cost of the presence of high-energy side lobes that notably degrade the imaging contrast and induce photobleaching. Here, we demonstrate the use of a light droplet illumination whose side lobes are suppressed by interfering Bessel beams of specific k-vectors. Our droplet illumination readily achieves more than 50% extinction of the light distributed across the Bessel side lobes, providing a more efficient energy localization without loss in transverse resolution. In a standard light sheet fluorescence microscope, we demonstrate a two-fold contrast enhancement imaging micron-scale fluorescent beads. Results pave the way to new opportunities for rapid and deep in vivo observations of large-scale biological systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17178
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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