15 March 2012 Real-time quantitative differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy implemented via novel liquid crystal prisms
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A phase shifting differential interference contrast (DIC) microscope, which provides quantitative phase information and is capable of imaging at video rates, has been constructed. Using a combination of phase shifting and bi-directional shear, the microscope captures a series of eight images which are then integrated in Fourier space. In the resultant image the intensity profile linearly maps to the phase differential across the object. The necessary operations are performed by various liquid crystal devices (LCDs) which can operate at high speeds. A set of four liquid crystal prisms shear the beam in both the x and y directions. A liquid crystal bias cell delays the phase between the e- and o-beams providing phase-shifted images. The liquid crystal devices are then synchronized with a CCD camera in order to provide real-time image acquisition. Previous implementation of this microscope utilized Nomarski prisms, a rotation stage and a manually operated Sénarmont compensator to perform the necessary operations and was only capable of fixed sample imaging. In the present work, a series of images were taken using both the new LCD prism based microscope and the previously implemented Sénarmont compensator based system. A comparison between these images shows that the new system achieves equal and in some cases superior results to that of the old system with the added benefit of real-time imaging.
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Ramzi N. Zahreddine, Ramzi N. Zahreddine, Robert H. Cormack, Robert H. Cormack, Hugh Masterson, Hugh Masterson, Sharon V. King, Sharon V. King, Carol J. Cogswell, Carol J. Cogswell, } "Real-time quantitative differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy implemented via novel liquid crystal prisms", Proc. SPIE 8227, Three-Dimensional and Multidimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing XIX, 822710 (15 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.909484; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.909484

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