Spiral phase contrast imaging in microscopy

Opt Express. 2005 Feb 7;13(3):689-94. doi: 10.1364/opex.13.000689.

Abstract

We demonstrate an optical method for edge contrast enhancement in light microscopy. The method is based on holographic Fourier plane filtering of the microscopic image with a spiral phase element (also called vortex phase or helical phase filter) displayed as an off-axis hologram at a computer controlled high resolution spatial light modulator (SLM) in the optical imaging pathway. The phase hologram imprints a helical phase term of the form exp(i phi) on the diffracted light field in its Fourier plane. In the image plane, this results in a strong and isotropic edge contrast enhancement for both amplitude and phase objects.