We proposed a subtraction method using vector beams for resolution enhancement in confocal microscopy. The imaging simulation revealed that the negative side lobe due to the excess subtraction resulted in the degradation of the object image. The subtraction imaging using vector beams demonstrated high spatial resolution with avoiding the negative side lobe. Further resolution enhancement beyond 100 nm was predicted by using a flat-top beam obtained by the combination of beams with radial and azimuthal polarizations and a higher-order transverse mode azimuthally polarized beam without significant negative side lobe.
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