White-light diffraction phase microscopy at doubled space-bandwidth product

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White light diffraction microscopy (wDPM) is a quantitative phase imaging method that benefits from both temporal and spatial phase sensitivity, granted, respectively, by the common-path geometry and white light illumination. However, like all off-axis quantitative phase imaging methods, wDPM is characterized by a reduced space-bandwidth product compared to phase shifting approaches. This happens essentially because the ultimate resolution of the image is governed by the period of the interferogram and not just the diffraction limit. As a result, off-axis techniques generates single-shot, i.e., high time-bandwidth, phase measurements, at the expense of either spatial resolution or field of view. Here, we show that combining phase-shifting and off-axis, the original space-bandwidth is preserved. Specifically, we developed phase-shifting diffraction phase microscopy with white light, in which we measure and combine two phase shifted interferograms. Due to the white light illumination, the phase images are characterized by low spatial noise, i.e., <1nm pathlength. We illustrate the operation of the instrument with test samples, blood cells, and unlabeled prostate tissue biopsy.

Mikhail Kandel