We investigate the use of a digital holographic microscope working in partially coherent illumination to study in three dimensions a micrometer-size particle flow. The phenomenon under investigation rapidly varies in such a way that it is necessary to record, for every camera frame, the complete holographic information for further processing. For this purpose, we implement the Fourier-transform method for optical amplitude extraction. The suspension of particles is flowing in a split-flow lateral-transport thin separation cell that is usually used to separate the species by their sizes. Details of the optical implementation are provided. Examples of reconstructed images of different particle sizes are shown, and a particle-velocity measurement technique that is based on the blurred holographic image is exploited.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
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