A spectral multiplexing interferometry (SXI) method is presented for integrated birefringence and phase gradient measurement on label-free biological specimens. With SXI, the retardation and orientation of sample birefringence are simultaneously encoded onto two separate spectral carrier waves, generated by a crystal retarder oriented at a specific angle. Thus sufficient information for birefringence determination can be obtained from a single interference spectrum, eliminating the need for multiple acquisitions with mechanical rotation or electrical modulation. In addition, with the insertion of a Nomarski prism, the setup can then acquire quantitative differential interference contrast images. Red blood cells infected by malaria parasites are imaged for birefringence retardation as well as phase gradient. The results demonstrate that the SXI approach can achieve both quantitative phase imaging and birefringence imaging with a single, high-sensitivity system.
Chengshuai Li and Yizheng Zhu, "Dual function microscope for quantitative DIC and birefringence imaging," Proc. SPIE 9713, Three-Dimensional and Multidimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing XXIII, 97131I (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 17, 2016; Published: 9 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213210.
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