Abstract

The differential-interference-contrast (DIC) microscope is of widespread use in life sciences as it enables noninvasive visualization of transparent objects. The goal of this work is to model the image formation process of thick three-dimensional objects in DIC microscopy. The model is based on the principles of electromagnetic wave propagation and scattering. It simulates light propagation through the components of the DIC microscope to the image plane using a combined geometrical and physical optics approach and replicates the DIC image of the illuminated object. The model is evaluated by comparing simulated images of three-dimensional spherical objects with the recorded images of polystyrene microspheres. Our computer simulations confirm that the model captures the major DIC image characteristics of the simulated object, and it is sensitive to the defocusing effects.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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