A new microscopic procedure for imaging three-dimensional semitransparent specimens with coherent illumination is described. The procedure employs multiple 'views' of the specimen, obtained by illumination via monochromatic plane waves having different directions of propagation, to generate a high quality image of the three-dimensional complex index of refraction profile of the specimen using the reconstruction algorithms of diffraction tomography (DT). The theory and hardware implementation of such a 'tomographic' microscope are described and the concept is compared to conventional optical microscopy, confocal scanning microscopy, and to other tomographic based optical microscopic concepts that have been employed in the past.
Anthony J. Devaney,
"Coherent optical tomographic microscope", Proc. SPIE 1767, Inverse Problems in Scattering and Imaging, (29 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.139046; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.139046