Simplified approach to diffraction tomography in optical microscopy

Reto Fiolka, Kai Wicker, Rainer Heintzmann, Andreas Stemmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We present a novel microscopy technique to measure the scattered wavefront emitted from an optically transparent microscopic object. The complex amplitude is decoded via phase stepping in a common-path interferometer, enabling high mechanical stability. We demonstrate theoretically and practically that the incoherent summation of multiple illumination directions into a single image increases the resolving power and facilitates image reconstruction in diffraction tomography. We propose a slice-by-slice object-scatter extraction algorithm entirely based in real space in combination with ordinary z-stepping. Thereby the computational complexity affiliated with tomographic methods is significantly reduced. Using the first order Born approximation for weakly scattering objects it is possible to obtain estimates of the scattering density from the exitwaves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12407-12417
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 20 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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