Abstract

Imaging of phase or optical path length is becoming more important with the development of better imaging systems, computational algorithms, faster computers, and a greater interest in the imaging of transparent objects. Early phase imaging involved qualitative imaging of phase gradients. New computational algorithms can be used to extract some quantitative phase imaging from these techniques. In contrast, new hardware has enabled full-field quantitative phase imaging on a practical and cost-effective scale. We explore a quantitative comparison between two techniques for imaging phase. In the first technique, phase is recovered from a pair of differential interference contrast images, and in the second technique, phase is measured pixel-by-pixel interferometrically. It is shown, experimentally, that the overall results are similar, but each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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