Digital Holographic interferometric Microscopy
1971 Physics Nobel prizewinner Dennis Gabor invented holography as a means of improving electron microscopy. Today most applications of digital holography are applied to light microscopy.
In digital holography a light source, in most cases a laser emitting a coherent beam, is used to illuminate the object or sample. This beam is split in an interferometer into a reference beam and an object beam. The two light paths interfere on a CCD camera to create a hologram.
The light wave front information resulting from the interference process is used to digitally reconstruct the object image using an advanced software algorithm, thus replacing the lens in a traditional light microscope.
Digital holographic microscopy (DHM) is digital holography applied to microscopy. Digital holographic microscopy distinguishes itself from other microscopy methods by not recording the projected image of the object. Instead, the light wave front information originating from the object is digitally recorded as a hologram, from which a computer calculates the object image using a numerical reconstruction algorithm. The image forming lens in traditional microscopy is thus replaced by a computer algorithm.
In traditional light microscopy only intensity information is recorded. Digital Holographic microscopy based on interferometry also stores data that is relevant to the optical phase or indirectly to the optical thickness of the sample. This allows the development of quantitative imaging applications and full automation of analyses.
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