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  1. null (Ed.)
  2. Light field microscopy (LFM) is an emerging technology for high-speed wide-field 3D imaging by capturing 4D light field of 3D volumes. However, its 3D imaging capability comes at a cost of lateral resolution. In addition, the lateral resolution is not uniform across depth in the light field dconvolution reconstructions. To address these problems, here, we propose a snapshot multifocal light field microscopy (MFLFM) imaging method. The underlying concept of the MFLFM is to collect multiple focal shifted light fields simultaneously. We show that by focal stacking those focal shifted light fields, the depth-of-field (DOF) of the LFM can be further improved but without sacrificing the lateral resolution. Also, if all differently focused light fields are utilized together in the deconvolution, the MFLFM could achieve a high and uniform lateral resolution within a larger DOF. We present a house-built MFLFM system by placing a diffractive optical element at the Fourier plane of a conventional LFM. The optical performance of the MFLFM are analyzed and given. Both simulations and proof-of-principle experimental results are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of the MFLFM. We believe that the proposed snapshot MFLFM has potential to enable high-speed and high resolution 3D imaging applications.

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