This Letter reports on the use of a spatial phase-shifting algorithm in a fast, straightforward method of real-time quantitative phase imaging. The computation time for phase extraction is five times faster than a Fourier transform and twice as fast as a Hilbert transform. The fact that the phase extraction from an interferogram of 512 × 512 pixels takes less than 8.93 ms with a typical desktop computer suggests the proposed method can be readily applied to high-speed dynamic quantitative phase imaging. The proposed method of quantitative phase imaging is effective and sufficiently general for application to the dynamic phenomena of biological samples.
© 2011 Optical Society of America