We introduce a quantitative phase imaging method for homogeneous objects with a bright field transmission microscope by using an amplitude mask and a digitalprocessing algorithm. A known amplitude pattern is imaged on the sample plane containing a thick phase object by placing an amplitude mask in the field diaphragm of the microscope. The phase object distorts the amplitude pattern according to its optical path length (OPL) profile, and the distorted pattern is recorded in a CCD detector. A digitalprocessing algorithm then estimates the object's quantitative OPL profile based on a closed form analytical solution, which is derived using a ray optics model for objects with small OPL gradients.
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