Structured modulation multi-height microscopy for high-resolution imaging.

Optics express(2023)

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Conventional multi-height microscopy techniques introduce different object-to-detector distances to obtain multiple measurements for phase retrieval. However, surpassing the diffraction limit imposed by the numerical aperture (NA) of the objective lens remains a challenging task. Here, we report a novel structured modulation multi-height microscopy technique for quantitative high-resolution imaging. In our platform, a thin diffuser is placed in between the sample and the objective lens. By translating the diffuser to different axial positions, a sequence of modulated intensity images is captured for reconstruction. The otherwise inaccessible high-resolution object information can thus be encoded into the optical system for detection. In the construction process, we report a ptychographic phase retrieval algorithm to recover the existing wavefront of the complex object. We validate our approach using a resolution target, a phase target, and various biological samples. We demonstrate a ∼4-fold resolution gain over the diffraction limit. We also demonstrate our approach to achieve a 6.5 mm by 4.3 mm field of view and a half-pitch resolution of 1.2 µm. The reported methodology provides a portable, turnkey solution for quantitative high-resolution imaging with potential applications in disease diagnosis, sample screening, and other fields.
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