A technique for phase microscopy using a phase diffuser and a reconstruction algorithm is proposed. A magnified specimen wavefront is projected on the diffuser plane that modulates the wavefront into a speckle field. The speckle patterns at axially displaced planes are sampled and used in an iterative phase retrieval algorithm based on a wave-propagation equation. The technique offers a whole-field and high-resolution wavefront reconstruction of unstained microstructures. Phase maps of photoresist targets and human cheek cells are obtained to demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.
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