A scanning optical microscope, including: a light source to generate a beam of probe light; collimation optics to substantially collimate the probe beam; a probe-result beamsplitter; a long working-distance, infinity-corrected objective; scanning means to scan a beam spot of the focused probe beam on or within a sample; relay optics; and a detector. The collimation optics are disposed in the probe beam. The probe-result beamsplitter is arranged in the optical paths of the probe beam and the resultant light from the sample. The beamsplitter reflects the probe beam into the objective and transmits resultant light. The long working-distance, infinity-corrected objective is also arranged in the optical paths of the probe beam and the resultant light. It focuses the reflected probe beam onto the sample, and collects and substantially collimates the resultant light. The relay optics are arranged to relay the transmitted resultant light from the beamsplitter to the detector.
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in the present invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by contract as awarded by the Department of Energy under funding number DE-FG02-06CH11383.