I describe an improved implementation of a previously reported interferometric device, the sampling field sensor (SFS) [Appl. Opt. 47, B32–B43 (2008)]. It provides X, Y, and shearing interferometric information simultaneously (space multiplexed) with amplitude and polarization information while using time-multiplexed phase shifting. Its simple common-path configuration makes it compact and vibration insensitive, as demonstrated by the phase estimation repeatability that was below the coherent noise floor (estimated at ). The SFS may be viewed as an efficient, robust and accurate full-field optical–digital interface, easy to integrate with traditional imaging systems. This is demonstrated by using the sensor as the focal plane array of a transmitted-light microscope in a straightforward setup using an illumination path polarization phase shifter. This work is focused on a qualitative demonstration and presents phase, amplitude, and polarization images of different types of human cheek cells and Caenorhabditis elegans larvae.
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