A Simple Configuration for Quantitative Phase Contrast Microscopy of Transmissible Samples
Phase microscopy attempts to visualize and quantify the phase distribution of samples which are otherwise invisible under microscope without the use of stains. The two principal approaches to phase microscopy are essentially those of Fourier plane modulation and interferometric techniques. Although the former, first proposed by Zernike, had been the harbinger of phase microscopy, it was the latter that allowed for quantitative evaluation of phase samples. However interferometric techniques are fraught with associated problems such as complicated setup involving mirrors and beam-splitters, the need for a matched objective in the reference arm and also the need for vibration isolation. The present work proposes a single element cube beam-splitter (CBS) interferometer combined with a microscope objective (MO) for interference microscopy. Because of the monolithic nature of the interferometer, the system is almost insensitive to vibrations and relatively simple to align. It will be shown that phase shifting properties may also be introduced by suitable and proper use of polarizing devices. Initial results showing the quantitative three dimensional phase profiles of simulated and actual biological specimens are presented.
KeywordsLinear Polarizer Microscope Objective Vibration Isolation Quarter Wave Plate Interference Microscopy
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