Rigorous 3D modeling of confocal microscopy on 2D surface topographies

Although optical 3D topography measurement instruments are widespread, measured profiles suffer from systematic deviations occurring due to the wave characteristics of light. These deviations can be analyzed by numerical simulations. We present a 3D modeling of the image formation of confocal microscopes. For this, the light-surface interaction is simulated using two different rigorous methods, the finite element method and the rigorous coupled-wave analysis. The image formation in the confocal microscope is simulated using a Fourier optics approach. The model provides high accuracy and advantages with respect to the computational effort as a full 3D model is applied to 2D structures and the lateral scanning process of the confocal microscope is considered without repeating the time consuming rigorous simulation of the scattering process. The accuracy of the model is proved considering different deterministic surface structures, which usually cause strong systematic deviations in measurement results. Further, the influences of apodization and a finite pinhole size are demonstrated.


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