Towards an incoherent off-axis digital holographic microscope
We propose and experimentally demonstrate a system in which off-axis digital holographic microscopy is realized using a broadband illumination source. Single-shot holographic measurements are enabled, while the coherence noise is removed thanks to the broad bandwidth of the illuminating source. The proposed digital holographic camera is portable and can be attached to the camera port of a conventional optical microscope. This camera is capable of obtaining the complex wavefront i.e the intensity and phase information of the light transmitted or reflected from a sample. A combination of a thick transmission volume grating recorded holographically into thick photosensitive glass and thin transmission phase gratings recorded holographically into thin photopolymers, spatially filters the beam of light containing the sample information in two dimensions through diffraction. This filtered beam creates the reference arm of the interferometer. The untouched transmitted beam creates the sample arm of the interferometer. The spatial filtering performed by the combination of gratings above reduces the alignment spatial sensitivity which is an advantage over conventional spatial filtering done by pinholes. Besides, using a second thin grating, we introduce a desired coherence plane tilt in the reference beam which is sufficient to create high-visibility interference over the entire field of view in off-axis configuration. Full-field off-axis interferograms are thus created from which the phase information can be extracted.