By contrast, commercial projectors provide a high power output that is comparable to the halogen lamps while allowing for great flexibility in patterning the illumination. In addition to their high brightness, the illumination can be patterned to have arbitrary spatial and spectral distributions. Therefore, commercial projectors can be adopted as a flexible light source to an optical microscope by careful alignment to the existing optical path.
In this study, we employed a commercial projector source to a quantitative phase imaging system called spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM), which is an outside module for an existing phase contrast (PC) microscope. By replacing the ring illumination of PC with a ring-shaped pattern projected onto the condenser plane, we were able to recover the same result as the original SLIM. Furthermore, the ring illumination is replaced with multiple dots aligned along the same ring to minimize the overlap between the scattered and unscattered fields. This new method minimizes the halo artifact of the imaging system, which allows for a halo-free high-resolution quantitative phase microscopy system.