Beyond the lateral resolution limit by phase imaging

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Cotte Y., Toy M. F., Depeursinge C.

Journal of Biomedical Optics, vol.16, no.10, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1117/1.3640812
  • Journal Name: Journal of Biomedical Optics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: digital holography, microscopy, phase imaging, phase vortices, point spread function, super-resolution
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


We present a theory to extend the classical Abbe resolution limit by introducing a spatially varying phase into the illumination beam of a phase imaging system. It allows measuring lateral and axial distance differences between point sources to a higher accuracy than intensity imaging alone. Various proposals for experimental realization are debated. Concretely, the phase of point scatterers' interference is experimentally visualized by high numerical aperture (NA = 0.93) digital holographic microscopy combined with angular scanning. Proof-ofprinciple measurements are presented by using sub-wavelength nanometric holes on an opaque metallic film. In this manner, Rayleighs classical two-point resolution condition can be rebuilt. With different illumination phases, enhanced bandpass information content is demonstrated, and its spatial resolution is theoretically shown to be potentially signal-to-noise ratio limited. © 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).