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© 2020 SPIE. Adaptive optics normally concerns correction of phase aberrations; this has certainly been the case in microscopy. However, the performance of certain forms of microscope is also sensitive to polarization errors. We present the concept of vectorial adaptive optics (V-AO) to extend compensation techniques into the vectorial beam domain by including polarization. Full polarization and phase control are implemented based on a combined spatial light modulator (SLM) and deformable mirror (DM) system. We demonstrate that V-AO can manipulate/improve the point spread function (PSF) of microscopes and micro-endoscopes. We explore methods of control of such systems to enable feedback correction of polarization and/or phase aberrations. Widely-used high numerical aperture (NA) objective lenses and GRIN rod endoscope lenses based systems are used for testing. Comparisons of the performance using V-AO and without V-AO are demonstrated alongside a specific case of GRIN rod endoscope lenses based vectorial imaging. The enhancement of the normal/vectorial imaging of the samples validated that our technique may solve numerous residual optics error issues in various microscopic/endoscopic systems. This may pave the way for further application directions. It should be noted that the applications of V-AO are not confined to microscopes, may also find use such other areas of optics.

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