A powerful yet easy-to-use numerical laboratory for calculating and visualizing the vectorial point spread function of optical microscopes

PSFLab 3.5 is here!

Fresh from the oven… Brand new interface, much faster code, and many new features!
We are still working on updating web pages and documentation, but you can download the new version already.

PSFLab is a software program that calculates the illumination point spread function of a confocal microscope under various imaging conditions. It is based on rigorous vectorial theory and correctly accounts for various experimental parameters, such as light polarization, high numerical aperture objectives, and the effect of immersion medium, coverslip, and sample medium.

The underlying theory is described in the following journal article:

M. J. Nasse and J. C. Woehl
”Realistic modeling of the illumination point spread function in confocal scanning optical microscopy”
Journal of the Optical Society of America A 27, 295-302 (2010)

PSFLab is available in 64-bit for Windows (1024×768 screen or higher) and Mac (intel-based; 1280×800 screen or higher). A Linux version will soon be released as well.

The screenshots below are taken from version 3.0 – new images coming soon!

Version 3.0 main features – with many more added in version 3.5!

  • Easy-to-use graphical user interface with tab-like navigation that fits smaller laptop screens
  • Automatically notifies the user when a new version update is available
  • Continuous image update while PSF calculation is in progress
  • Rigorous, vectorial theory gives access to all electric field components
  • Displays intensity, individual field components, or squared field components
  • Accounts for collimated, monochromatic illumination light with Gaussian or flat intensity profile
  • Polarization of illumination light can be chosen freely (linear, elliptic, or circular)
  • Applies to both low and high numerical aperture objectives
  • Correctly predicts aberrations due to refractive indices (RI) or coverslip thickness that differ from the objective’s design parameters
  • Up to three stratified layers can be defined (immersion medium or air, coverslip, sample medium)
  • Set up multiple cycles of calculations with increasing resolution
  • Various display options (linear/logarithmic intensity scale, different colormaps, colorbar on/off)
  • Automatic and regular data backup feature
  • Single-click access to basic statistical parameters (Min/Max, FWHM etc.)
  • Export PSF data to Matlab, HDF5, or ASCII-text data files
  • Save figure to various image file formats