It is proposed to use fractal structures with increased power at high spatial frequencies for methods based on the coherent optical processing of images of two-dimensional periodic structures recorded through a test object. In this case, it turns out to be possible not only to more confidently record small refraction gradients in the object of interest, but also to automatically distinguish the characteristic periods of its inhomogeneities. It is shown that the reconstructed images of the fractal masks have intensity modulation whose period is associated with the induced phase distortions. © 2003 Optical Society of America

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