Abstract

A new technique for producing a white light differential interference contrast (DIC) image using a lateral shearing, rotation phase shifting Sagnac interferometer (SI) is proposed. The SI, placed in the image space after the tube lens of a microscope system with spatially coherent white light Kohler illumination, splits the image forming beam into coherent components with small lateral shear. Phase shifts, between the interfering components, which can be considered as biased phase difference (BPD), are introduced by applying small angular rotation of the SI in its own plane. This variable BPD between the interfering white light components produces a uniform intensity colored background. The object related phase shift, due to the height difference between two close points on the object surface with separation on the order of least resolvable separation of the microscope objective, in addition to the BPD would produce a change in intensity/hue/color against a uniform background due to the BPD. Thus a DIC image is formed and the variable BPD provides an excellent means of improving the contrast of the image.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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