Optical path difference microscopy with a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor

Hai Gong*, Temitope E. Agbana, Paolo Pozzi, Oleg Soloviev, Michel Verhaegen, Gleb Vdovin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
168 Downloads (Pure)


In this Letter, we show that a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor can be used for the quantitative measurement of the specimen optical path difference (OPD) in an ordinary incoherent optical microscope, if the spatial coherence of the illumination light in the plane of the specimen is larger than the microscope resolution. To satisfy this condition, the illumination numerical aperture should be smaller than the numerical aperture of the imaging lens. This principle has been successfully applied to build a high-resolution reference-free instrument for the characterization of the OPD of micro-optical components and microscopic biological samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2122-2125
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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